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Cannabis representatives talk THC taxes

Nevada County Cannabis Alliance’s Diana Gamzon recently approached the Grass Valley City Council about their THC percentage tax that she feels will hurt the industry.
Photo: Elias Funez

Diana Gamzon, executive director of the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance, and local attorney Cameron Brady, recently went before members of Grass Valley’s council and staff to highlight the harmful effects of a THC percentage tax.

The two asked for the item to be placed on a future agenda for the council.

According to Gamzon, the City of Grass Valley has a unique tax structure that is applied for any THC product sold that is over 17 percent THC, in addition to the baseline cannabis tax.

“When I say this is a very unique tax structure, Grass Valley is probably if not the only one of three jurisdictions in California that does this, but it’s seeming like Grass Valley may be the only one,” Gamzon said.

Gamzon pointed out that in Nevada City, the cannabis dispensary Elevation 2477, does not have this tax placed on them.

“Let’s say cannabis flower that is grown on the ridge sold at a potential dispensary here in Grass Valley that has a 26% THC, which is considered a low THC – that business would pay and an additional 9% of gross receipts in addition to baseline of 4% of gross receipts that all consumers pay for concentrate – let’s call it a 60% concentrate of THC – the business would pay and additional 43% tax on gross receipts. There’s a business in Nevada City called Emerald Bay Extracts – they produce Rick Simpson Oil which is a high concentration of THC which helps alleviate symptoms related to cancer – that product, sold in Grass Valley would be served an additional 43% tax on their gross receipts plus the additional baseline of 4%.

Brady, also spoke of the potentially harmful effects of the THC percentage tax.

“I believe this ordinance passed unanimously because we all believe that licensed and regulated cannabis provides safe access to consumers, tax revenue to the city, and helps to reduce access to youth. It’s smart policy. The tax portion of this ordinance, unfortunately, would prohibit all of these objectives,” Brady said. “If the additional taxes are implemented on the THC portion, it makes products unsellable.”

Brady is currently working with Grass Valley’s Provisions, a dispensary approved for Grass Valley that has yet to open.

“Grass Valley’s Provisions wouldn’t be able to open its doors,” Brady said to the council. “So for the reasons shared, I respectful request that this matter be placed on a future agenda, and the tax portion or the THC tax portion of the cannabis business ordinance be removed. I can tell you that Provisions is really excited to open next year and work collaboratively. It has great plans to work with the city.

Grass Valley City Manager Tim Kiser did not return calls on the matter as of press time.

To contact Managing Editor Elias Funez email efunez@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.



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