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Long Beach May Ask Voters to Tax Marijuana on November Ballot

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Long Beach may join three Northern California cities by placing a marijuana tax proposal on the November ballot. The City Council today is expected to consider an item today that would schedule a public hearing in August, which is when the councilmembers would vote to place the tax measure on the ballot.

With a $18.5 million deficit this year (and more of the same in future years), city staff is recommending the measure become a reality. When Long Beach originally set up a business license tax ordinance, medical marijuana dispensaries did not exist. "Currently, medical marijuana collectives operate in business corridors alongside businesses that pay business license taxes," explained a staff report (.pdf). "To promote equity, it is recommended that medical marijuana collectives are also assessed a business license tax."