On November 8, 2022, residents of the City of Healdsburg in Sonoma County, California will have the chance to vote on Measure M, which is informally known as the City’s cannabis tax measure. If approved by the voters, Measure M will ensure that the City is capable of taxing commercial cannabis businesses once the Healdsburg City Council adopts ordinances and regulations permitting the existence of such businesses within City limits.
If passed, Measure M would require any Person, which is defined as any individual, firm, partnership, joint venture, association, corporation, limited liability company, estate, trust, business trust, receiver, syndicate, collective or any other group or combination acting as a unit, whether organized as a nonprofit or for-profit entity, engaged in business as a cannabis business, to, among other things, register with the City Tax Administrator’s office and pay the cannabis business taxes imposed pursuant to the Measure.
Measure M Will Establish A Maximum Annual Gross Receipts Tax
Measure M would also give the City of Healdsburg the ability to impose an annual gross receipts tax that may not exceed 8% on any Person conducting cannabis business within City limits. In addition to setting the maximum annual rate for cannabis business taxes that may be assessed on a Person conducting cannabis business, Measure M would also allow the Healdsburg City Council to, by resolution, implement tax rates lower than the maximum 8% rate.
Additionally, Measure M would give the Healdsburg City Council the ability to (1) establish different tax rates for different categories of cannabis businesses and (2) decrease or increase any cannabis business tax rates from time to time, provided that the tax rates imposed do not, at any time, exceed the maximum tax rate of 8% established by the Measure.
Funds Generated by Measure M
Assuming Measure M is approved by a simple majority of voters in November, all funds generated by the cannabis tax would be placed into the City’s General Fund and could be used for any general municipal purpose, including but not limited to public safety, parks, affordable housing, street repairs, renovating City facilities, maintaining City programs, and wildfire prevention efforts.
Commercial Cannabis Businesses Remain Unlawful in Healdsburg
It is important to note, however, that even if Measure M is approved, operating a commercial cannabis business in the City of Healdsburg will remain unlawful until the City passes ordinances and regulations allowing such businesses to be domiciled within City limits.
To be eligible to vote on Measure M on November 8, 2022, voters living within Healdsburg city limits must be registered to vote by October 24, 2022. For information regarding voter registration in Sonoma County visit the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters website.