Palm Springs Considers Medical Marijuana Tax

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Jun 21, 2007
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The city of Palm Springs may soon tax medical marijuana.

Leaders discussed the issue during their City Council meeting Wednesday.

According to city attorney Doug Holland, the city could earn $50 to $100 for every $1,000 pot dispensaries earn. The money would go to the city's general fund.

"We're not taxing medicine. What we're doing is we're taxing an operation. We're taxing what is essentially a business or an operation that is occurring on the property," said Holland.

Palm Springs leaders are looking at examples from other cities that have passed similar medical marijuana taxes, like Oakland and Los Angeles.

Stacy Hochanedel owns Cannahelp, one of three legal dispensaries.

According to Hochanedel, if it passes here, he'll support the tax and try to limit the impact on his customers.

"They're sick and needy and mostly low income. So we're going to have to look and see where we can trim our fat to help to make up the extra revenue for the city for the extra tax if needs be, and we're willing to," said Hochanedel.

According to Holland, the three legal medical marijuana dispensaries get certain benefits from working with the city.

"Fire protection. They do receive emergency ambulance service. They do receive police services. They should be paying a portion of their revenues to help fund the services they receive. That's the basic theory," he said.

City leaders are only talking about a marijuana tax right now.

Holland says if the City Council wants to move forward, voters could see it on the ballot this November.


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