If you open any type of marijuana business in the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County, starting next month, those who buy cannabis products from you will have to pay a four percent sales tax.
“The county tax is comparable to what Grover Beach has. Grover Beach’s medicinal tax is five percent and recreational is 10 percent. So actually the way that the county has structured their tax could actually be more favorable to a retail location,” explained Marie Roth, Executive Director of the San Luis Obispo County Cannabis Business Association.
Roth says some businesses have been looking forward to a tax like this because it will help legitimize their business.
“I definitely think you’ll get a lot of cooperation from the cannabis businesses when it comes to fine-tuning how they’re going to be taxed, how it actually works, what doesn’t, what becomes a burden, for them as the run their business,” Roth says.
That’s what the county was hoping for as well. Supervisor John Peschong says the money generated from this tax will help go to cracking down on illegal grows.
“Whether we’re covering the costs of enforcement and other things that go along with it like the licensing – or we’re not covering costs. I just wanna cover costs – I don’t want to wanna be able to make any money off of this. We just need to be able to cover the services that cannabis enforcement and cannabis are costing the county taxpayers,” Peschong explained.
This tax measure has the ability to fluctuate up to 10 percent but will be revisited each year. So far there aren’t any retail locations in unincorporated parts of the county but that could be changing.
“Within I’d say the next six months, we’ll see that initial group of applicants make it through the process and that can be anything from cultivation to distribution to dispensary to testing lab. There’s a couple different license types that are being sought after,” Roth said.