Fed Pot Crackdown Costing California Jobs, Tax Revenue

50 jobs lost in SF; many more across the state.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Jars full of medical marijuana a Los Angeles dispensary.

    If he wanted to boost the Bay Area economy, President Barack Obama could have forgotten his jobs bill -- for California, his administration's been stimulating lost jobs, missing tax revenue, and broker cities with its drug policies.

    The crackdown on California's medical marijuana industry -- begun in October by the four United States attorneys for California, who announced a coordinated statewide effort to shut down marijuana dispensaries on Oct. 7 -- has cost the state thousands of jobs and millions in tax revenue, according to union officials, medical cannabis advocates, and government statistics.

    Despite the state earning $100 million in tax revenue from dispensaries, the US Attorneys sent letters to select dispensaries across the state informing them they must close down or pay stiff penalties, including jail time for the operators and the forfeiture of property for dispensaries' landlords, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. This has cost San Francisco 50 dispensary jobs, as three clubs have had to close.

    Across the state, 2,500 jobs have been lost since the crackdown began, according to union officials like Dan Rush, national director of United Food and Commercial Workers' medical cannabis division. UFCW began organizing medical marijuana workers in May 2010.

    Less dispensarie mean less taxes for the state, for the cities like Oakland and San Jose who have a special local tax, permit fees in San Francisco, ancillary jobs like accountants and lawyers, as well as ad revenue: Medithrive, which closed shop at 16th and Mission Street, spent tens of thousands of dollars on advertising every month.