Pot as City's Revenue Stream

Will weed become a city's windfall?

By Lori Preuitt and Garvin Thomas
|  Friday, Feb 25, 2011  |  Updated 7:00 PM PDT
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One, tiny Delta city thinks it has figured something out that has eluded many, much bigger cities. Have they really discovered a way to profit from pot?

NBC Bay Area

One, tiny Delta city thinks it has figured something out that has eluded many, much bigger cities. Have they really discovered a way to profit from pot?

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The tiny California town of Isleton has put its economic hopes in a medical marijuana basket. Isleton is about 50 miles south of Sacramento and east of I-5. It's best known for holding a crawdad festival each year, but tough times forced the city to cancel the event last year. There was a real concern the city would go bankrupt.

In walks a medical marijuana idea.

To help stop a gaping budget deficit, the city decided to accept a proposal to allow some city land to be used to grow medical pot.

Delta Allied Growers will build a 4,000-square-foot indoor medical marijuana nursery on a tiny piece of property inside the Isleton city limits.

The grower will pay the city either three percent of its profits or $25,000 -- whichever is bigger. That's a minimum of $300,000 a year of new revenue, but it could bring in as much as $600,000. Either way it is a significant bump in the city's general fund.

But wait! There's more:

In addition to the taxes and fees, the growers have agreed to install security cameras anywhere in town that the Isleton police chief chooses. It will also buy the police department a new mainframe computer and new laptops so they can monitor the cameras anytime anywhere.

The proposal is something no other California city has tried and it will surely be watched up and down the Golden State.

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