Toking for Taxes

Oakland, California is ready to inhale. The city council recently voted to permit large-scale marijuana production. From the Mercury News:

Now that the ordinance has been approved, the city will put out a request for proposals for four Cannabis Cultivation, Manufacturing and Processing Facility permits. Several people have expressed interest, among them Dhar Mann, a founder of iGrow, a hydroponic superstore in East Oakland, and Jeff Wilcox, a businessman who owns several acres of light industrial land along the Embarcadero. Each applicant must pony up a $5,000 fee to cover administrative costs for background checks and to review business plans and site plans.

In addition to the application fee, newly permitted cultivation businesses must pay an annual $211,000 regulatory fee that will be used to hire staff and develop and sustain a program to oversee the cultivators, similar to the team that oversees compliance and complaints about the city’s liquor establishments.

The permitted facilities must be located in industrially zoned areas of the city and meet all relevant building and fire codes, hire security guards and maintain security cameras, and carry sufficient liability insurance.

Seasoned readers of Fairly Conservative know this is one of the subjects that earn me a “fairly” description. I’ve always thought it made sense to legalize and regulate – including tax the heck out of – marijuana much like we do tobacco and alcohol.

Looks like Oakland is on their way to capturing revenues off California’s favorite cash crop.