San Bernardino Considers Tapping Medical Marijuana Outlets for Revenue

by San Antonio Attorney

The San Bernardino City Attorney has a creative idea for generating new income – open medicinal marijuana shops to sell pot.

The city is having difficulties in exiting bankruptcy since it filed for Chapter 9 protection two years ago. City attorney Gary Saenz suggests that cannabis sales can be part of San Bernardino’s income.

He uses Palm Springs, California as an example with a significantly smaller population of 45,000. Palm Springs puts a 10 percent tax on medicinal marijuana stores that makes $500,000 annually. San Bernardino has a population of 210,000.

Saenz’s proposition will be discussed by the city council on Aug. 19. He believes the initial income will be used to finance police campaigns to prevent operations of illegal marijuana stores.

The Board of Equalization, which manages California’s sales tax, points out that once a city authorizes medicinal marijuana shops it can utilize the tax earnings in any manner it wants.

The board says the total sales of pots within the state values at $700 million to $1.3 billion every year, contributing $59 million up to $109 million in sales tax earnings.

City council member Fred Shorett agrees with the proposal. He said the council will discuss how to use the additional tax dollars next month.

At present, medical marijuana dispensaries are not allowed in San Bernardino, but if a city council decides to allow them they can be authorized.

San Bernardino filed for bankruptcy in July 2012. In the past two years, the city has been stuck in court battles with its labor unions and its top creditor, Calpers.

The fights have been so bad that a law firm representing a creditor was removed from the case because it employed a lawyer away from another creditor’s firm.

Public workers, bondholders, and other local and state governments are keeping track of how fiscally distressed cities cope with their debts to Wall Street in comparison with other debtors, like large pension funds, in the course of Chapter 9 protection.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: