While marijuana may be legal for recreational purposes in California following a 2016 ballot referendum, you likely aren’t going to be purchasing any cannabis in the unincorporated areas of San Joaquin County anytime soon.
Measure B – a county cannabis tax that would have been levied on businesses that were authorized to sell commercial cannabis to customers – is currently failing in the county, 62.14 to 37.86 with 16 of 22 precincts reporting as of 12:30 a.m.
Because of the nature of the tax, the measure needs a two-thirds majority to be approved.
The proposal would have relaxed an existing prohibition against the growing of commercial cannabis and cannabis-related products in the county and excised a special tax that would have both paid for the necessary enforcement of regulations against the businesses authorized to sell the products and generated revenue for the county to pay for things like youth programs.
The measure would have banned all advertising of cannabis and cannabis-related products to anybody under the age of 21 – in compliance with California law – and would have required business owners that were granted a special use permit by the county to pay for security to prevent any issues from arising.
The 3.5 percent tax, if passed, would come with a stipulation that allows the Board of Supervisors to raise that tax rate up to a maximum of 8 percent.
But despite more progressive views on marijuana in California, not everybody in the county’s hierarchy was in favor of putting the proposal on the ballot.
While internal polling numbers suggested that the measure stood a chance of passing, Supervisors Chuck Winn and Bob Elliott were against putting the proposal up to a vote while Supervisor Tom Patti was an outspoken proponent of the measure.
There are still absentee and provisional ballots outstanding that will likely be counted and tabulated in the coming days that could change the numbers in the measure.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.