Cannabis: Tax and Zoning

Posted on March 1, 2018

On Monday evening, the City Council will consider two items related to cannabis. The first item is whether to place a measure on the June 5, 2018 ballot to levy a “commercial cannabis industry special tax”–a special business tax– on cannabis businesses in San Rafael. If approved, voters in San Rafael would vote on a business tax on commercial cannabis businesses of up to 8 percent of gross receipts. The proposed tax would require a two-thirds voter approval, with the proceeds dedicated to specific uses: paying the City’s costs in administering its cannabis regulations and enhancing police and fire services, as well as the possibility of enhancing community centers and repairing potholes/maintaining City streets.

Click here to view the staff report.

The second item is a public hearing to consider zoning regulations for cannabis businesses within City limits. These rules would dictate which types of businesses can locate in different commercial and industrial zoning districts. To be clear, the City Council has not authorized any storefronts anywhere in San Rafael for either medicinal or adult recreational use. The City Council has put a process in place to consider a limited number of licenses for businesses falling into the categories of laboratory space, manufacturing, and delivery of medical cannabis. Regulation or licensing of these uses would be administered through a separate license process prescribed in the City’s municipal code, as opposed to a land use entitlement, such as a land use permit. The proposed zoning regulations were approved by the Planning Commission at their February 13, 2018 meeting.

Click here to view the staff report.


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