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Phoenix’s Mayor Proposes $560,000 Tax on Dispensaries

Phoenix Marijuana

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
or
– 17% of business gross receipts received from each in-city location in the previous 12-month period
or
– $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
www.phoenix.gov/district1
council.district.1@phoenix.gov
602-262-7444
Fax 534-4793

Jim Waring, Vice Mayor
www.phoenix.gov/district2
council.district.2@phoenix.gov
602-262-7445
Fax 495-0527

Debra Stark     
www.phoenix.gov/district3
council.district.3@phoenix.gov
602-262-7441
Fax 534-4190

Laura Pastor
www.phoenix.gov/district4
council.district.4@phoenix.gov
602-262-7447
Fax 534-5438

Vania Guevara
www.phoenix.gov/district5
council.district.5@phoenix.gov
602-262-7446
Fax 495-0628

Sal DiCiccio
www.phoenix.gov/district6
council.district.6@phoenix.gov
602-262-7491
Fax 534-3574

Michael Nowakowski
www.phoenix.gov/district7
council.district.7@phoenix.gov
602-262-7492
Fax 534-4816

Felicita Mendoza
www.phoenix.gov/district8
council.district.8@phoenix.gov
602-262-7493
Fax 495-0587

 

AP Photo/Noah Berger

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