San Jose

Measure E: Voters to Decide How Marijuana Will Be Taxed in Brisbane

Before pot shops make their way to Brisbane, the city wants to know how cannabis should be taxed.

Measure E, a marijuana business tax measure, will go before Brisbane voters in the upcoming November election. A "Yes" vote would tax cannabis businesses to 6%. A "No" vote would let the city council decide how to tax them.

"We wanted to wait and see what other cities were going to do, what was going to happen on a statewide basis -- that's all still in play," Brisbane City Manager Clay Holstine said.

The city council could vote to allow cannabis stores in certain areas around the city next year. One possible scenario shows dispensaries being allowed in the small downtown area.

While some think it could help boost the economy, others aren't in favor of pot shops moving into the city.

"There's a place for everything and maybe not here, not Brisbane," resident Laura Castro said. "It's a little bit old fashioned. People have more old-fashioned values."

The San Jose-based Caliva already has a distribution center in Brisbane.

"It's really critical for consumers to be able to have affordable options for legal cannabis," Caliva CEO Dennis O'Malley said.

O'Malley encourages reasonable taxes so people will want to buy in stores instead of off the streets. The Caliva CEO points out San Jose taxes cannabis businesses an extra 10%. The proposal in Brisbane is lower.

"With legal cannabis it's safe, it's tested, you have trusted experts in terms of consultants around helping you determine what fits for your lifestyle," O'Malley said. "That's different from the illegal market that has no taxes."

The city thinks it could get $300,000 in taxes each year if the measure passes. The money would go into the general fund.

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