Huntington Beach

Voters to decide on cannabis

VOTERS in Huntington Beach will get another chance to vote on permitting the sale of cannabis products in their city (Shutterstock).

By Jim Tortolano/Orange County Tribune

Voters in Huntington Beach will get a chance on Nov. 8 to decide whether to allow the sale of cannabis in the city, and to levy taxes on those transactions.

At a lengthy meeting Tuesday night, the city council voted 7-0 to place on the general election ballot a measure which would allow cannabis-related commerce in Surf City, and impose a tax.

Framed as a “general tax,” this would only require a simple majority instead of the two-thirds approval for a “special tax” which voters narrowly rejected in June.

Also, the council approved putting several proposed “cleanup” amendments to the city charter before voters but took no action on converting the city clerk and city treasurer positions from elected to appointed.

The cannabis measure – if approved by voters – would allow and regulate cannabis retailers and non-retailers for recreational and medicinal use in areas zoned for that use.

A proposed tax – which has been estimated to put as much as $600,000 annually into the city treasury – would be for 6 percent of gross receipts earned by retailers and up to 1 percent of gross receipts on “all other cannabis business.”

The consumption and sale of marijuana-related products is legal in California, but cities have to option whether to authorize such activities in their communities.

Tuesday’s meeting ran over six hours long, finishing around 12:15 a.m. Wednesday. The next meeting of the city council is scheduled for Tuesday, July 19.

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