CA: Redding Delays Reveal Of Retail Cannabis Licenses

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Businesses that applied for retail cannabis licenses in the city of Redding will have to wait a little longer to learn their fate.

City Manager Barry Tippin had hoped to announce on Thursday the names of at least several businesses that made the first cut to sell, grow, test or deliver legal, recreational marijuana within the city limits.

However, city officials said Thursday afternoon they need more time to evaluate the 18 proposals, many of which run more than 200 pages.

We received many quality proposals, and city staff and I are diligently reviewing and discussing the merits of each with the intent of selecting the proposals that best reflect what the city is looking for in this new retail venture,” Tippin said in press release.

Shortly after announcing the delay, the city issued the agenda for Tuesday’s City Council meeting that includes a recommendation to have Redding voters decide in November whether or not to tax the city’s first-ever retail pot businesses.

The decision on pot licenses is being postponed up to 30 days.

“We apologize to the applicants who are eagerly awaiting the conclusion of this process in order to begin with their businesses,” Tippin said.

The city panel that’s reviewing the 18 proposals wants to make sure it’s spending enough time weighing each application, considering the complexity of the rules in the city’s ordinance.

Meanwhile, the City Council on Tuesday will consider a staff recommendation to move forward with a general business tax that would need to be approved by a simple majority of Redding voters in the Nov. 6 general election.

City staff says the pot business tax would bring in about $750,000 a year that would be used by the city as unrestricted general revenue.

With voter approval, the initial tax rates on cannabis retailers would be 5 percent of their gross receipts. There would be an initial 3 percent tax on the gross receipts earned by distributors, manufacturers, processors, lab testers and storers. Those two tax rates wouldn’t exceed 10 percent.

The measure initially would tax cannabis cultivation businesses up to $3 per square foot of their growing areas along with the pot-related commercial businesses. The square-foot levy wouldn’t exceed $25, according to the proposal.

The report says the taxes would help “contribute reasonably and fairly” to pay for the city’s costs associated with the emerging industry. The city’s cost of putting the tax measure on the ballot is estimated at $30,000.

More than 50 California counties and cities have a tax on cannabis-related businesses. Shasta Lake imposes a 6 percent tax on the gross receipts of the three pot dispensaries in that city with the money going toward law enforcement and code enforcement.

The tax in Shasta Lake last year brought in more than $400,000 on medicinal marijuana sales.