Long Beach, California 2022-05-27 16:00:59 –
Cannabis industry leaders and community members gathered for cannabis reform at Long Beach City Hall on May 10.
Some of the reforms requested by attendees were to encourage the city to reduce retail taxes, the need for fair social justice processes and programs, and to support state bill AB2792.
The council unanimously voted on reducing retail taxes and developing a social justice program while positively responding to the future of the cannabis industry.
All items were supported by the Long Beach Cannabis Association (LBCA) and community members.
Over the past few years, the industry has demanded tax cuts at all levels, claiming that “the industry is on the verge of collapse” due to inflation, high taxes and competition from the black market.
Supporters filled half of the city hall. Among them were some of the city’s well-known cannabis businesses, such as Catalyst and Chronic.
Community members argued that the long beach cannabis business would be difficult to survive because cannabis products are taxed at each level of the supply chain.
According to MJBiz Daily, farmers are mostly out of business due to licensing fees, high cultivation taxes, and oversupply of cultivation. Farmers are forced to offer depressed wholesale prices due to their diligence, driving them out of business.
Heavy taxes bring income to the city, but consumers are hurt in the process because they have to pay 45% tax each time. Everyone in the industry is making little money. Most afflicted are the victims of the war on drugs and the citizens currently stuck in the Long Beach Social Equity Pipeline program.
The city received a $ 3 million social equity grant from the state in March, but one applicant received the grant in the program. Currently, there are 156 applicants for this program.
“Give us what you need. If you have $ 1 million (subsidy) and it takes $ 500,000 to get into the business, give 10 people (applicants) $ 100,000. “I’m upset,” said Uriel Barrel, an upset applicant.
Barrel is one of many applicants who talked about the frustrations they face in their failed pipeline.
MPH’s Pam Chotiswatdi is a community activist who has insisted on having a process in social equality programs. Chotiswatdi has helped applicants navigate social equity programs and guide them to resources.
One applicant, backed by Chotiswadi, lost the opportunity to obtain a license because the landowner inflated the cost of leasing it. This is an ongoing problem and it is difficult to find a place as the landlord inflates the rent for cannabis-related businesses. The city plans to offer eight licenses. This means that the competition for social justice applicants to obtain a lease will be fierce and time consuming.
According to Chotiswadi, the applicant who received the grant had only 30 days to find a place on Long Beach. The industry is considered a money-making machine, so landlords rent the place at twice the cost. This was happening to the applicant.
The applicant was unable to meet the deadline and had to return the grant to the city and restart the program from the beginning. This dilemma creates the ongoing problem of applicants remaining in the pipeline for years.
District 9 councilor Al Austin said: To process. I think it’s counterproductive and unfair. “
Austin has asked the Cannabis Supervisory Authority to begin prioritizing social equity applicants who have gone through the lottery process. The members of the council unanimously agreed that the city needed to change the way it manages the industry, demonstrating that by voting in favor of all three items.