Late this week, Phoenix Mayor Thelda Williams sent a letter to Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher proposing a huge tax on medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivators in an effort to increase funding for the Phoenix police and fire departments.
“On Oct. 2, the City Council will consider a creative approach to finding a new revenue source to help fund public safety,” Williams told the Phoenix New Times. “The proposal is in no way an attempt to single out medical marijuana businesses that operate legally in the city, but a proposal to establish a revenue structure for a growing industry that adds pressure to public safety.”
Phoenix is looking into a few tax options to place on medical marijuana businesses. Some of the options are:
– $920,000 for each in-city cultivation site and
– $560,000 for each dispensary or public consumption lounge
– 17% of business gross receipts received from each in-city location in the previous 12-month period
– $50 per square foot used for in-city cultivation and infusion site and
– $280 per square foot used for in-city retail business or public consumption lounge purposes
Many Arizona dispensaries cannot afford such a high tax, so it could force them to either increase their prices or close their business.
Although this tax is for Phoenix-based marijuana businesses, it could very well affect all medical marijuana patients via increased prices at dispensaries because Arizona’s medical marijuana industry of retailers and growers is a small ecosystem. Furthermore, if Phoenix passes this tax, other Arizona cities will likely follow in Phoenix’s footsteps.
Phoenix’s City Council Planning and Economic Development Subcommittee is hosting a meeting open to the public on Oct 2nd from 9:30am – 11:30am at Phoenix City Hall (200 Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85003) to discuss the proposed medical marijuana tax.
Contact the Mayor’s office or your council member (before their Oct 2nd meeting) and share your thoughts:
Thelda Williams, Mayor
Jim Waring, Vice Mayor
AP Photo/Noah Berger