Garden Grove

Tax on medicinal marijuana defeated

A PROPOSAL to tax medicinal marijuana in Garden Grove was defeated.

A PROPOSAL to tax medicinal marijuana in Garden Grove was defeated.

By Jim Tortolano

A proposal to impose a tax on medical marijuana was defeated at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Garden Grove City Council. Mayor Bao Nguyen’s motion to tax cannabis, perhaps as a prelude to allowing medical “pot” to be sold in the city, was supported by Councilmember Phat Bui, but they were outvoted by council members Chris Phan, Kris Beard and Steve Jones.

gg-logo_lg-e1446082015536That same lineup also voted 3-2 to discontinue the task force of Nguyen and Bui to study the matter. Medical marijuana has been a continuing controversy at council meetings in recent months, and 16 speakers showed up to address the issue, most of them in opposition.

Although medicinal marijuana is legal in California, cities have the option to ban it within their borders. Garden Grove has a ban in place, but an estimated 20 such dispensaries are in operation in the community.

Several years ago, before the council’s prohibition, there were 65 such businesses in Garden Grove, causing a community uproar. Because the federal government still considers marijuana to be an illegal drug, banks have generally avoided conducting business with dispensaries – licensed or not – which mean they are primarily cash-only enterprises.


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