Radicle Health encourages Contra Costa County to engage with the cannabis industry and to create regulations that promote jobs, safety, opportunity, and consumer access.
Measure R will fail to achieve these goals.
Simply put, the tax rates for retail and manufacturing are too high. If the county is concerned about the black market and it’s detrimental effects, it should create legislation that attracts legal businesses. A 4-6% tax rate of gross receipts will discourage retail, delivery, and manufacturing companies from locating in unincorporated Contra Costa, especially if these businesses are restricted to medical-only products.
Most patients that we see at Radicle Health are opting out of the medical cannabis status because of the additional cost and time required to obtain a medical recommendation from a doctor and the medical cannabis state ID card from their Department of Pubic Health. Adult-use and medical products are mostly identical (medical patients can buy products of higher potency) and Alameda and SF County companies that serve this area (generally) don’t require the medical recommendation.
Unfortunately, Contra Costa County has been and remains hostile to the industry. Every city in Contra Costa County voted overwhelmingly in favor of Prop 64 in 2016. And while communities in San Francisco and Alameda Counties spent the previous two years planning and executing legislation for commercial cannabis services, Contra Costa County officials held meetings throughout 2017 with an agenda rife with misinformation, hyperbole, and fear-driven propaganda. It was clear that county leaders failed to seek input from key industry stakeholders and subject matter experts: cannabis patients, cannabis organizations, and cannabis companies.
Consequently, East Contra Costa residents still lack access to retail services. Now, these same officials want to cash in by gouging companies that presently have very few options this side of the Caldecott.
Radicle Health recommends that you vote No on measure R and send a message to legislators that the residents of Contra Costa County and the cannabis industry refuse to accept unfair regulations and unfair tax schemes. Higher tax rates equate to higher prices for consumers. Currently, it’s not uncommon for consumers to pay 30-40% in sales and excise tax, and these rates are unreasonable. We challenge county officials to create regulations that promote safe and responsible commercial cannabis while providing affordable services to those who need them the most: our sick and aging residents.