Economic downturns frequently force cities to get creative with their budgeting. But Oakland might not have to be as creative, considering their thriving medical marijuana dispensary sector:
The city has raised taxes on marijuana dispensaries several times in the past few years, and last year it collected $1.4 million in taxes from them — nearly 3 percent of all the business taxes it collected. Now Oakland plans to double the number of dispensaries it licenses, to eight from the current four, in the hopes that it can collect even more revenue.
Other cities are beginning to see the benefit of taxing marijuana as well; cash-strapped Colorado Springs made $700,000 last year from marijuana taxes (that’s like…70 billion dimebags, dude!), and Denver saw almost $3.4 million from taxes and application fees.
The revenue is not without headache (or tracers), however, as the Feds have decided to reneg on their promise not to harsh the States’s mellow; now, the IRS is claiming that many of these businesses are, in fact, drug-trafficking organizations. Even so, business is still pretty good, and medical dispensaries are providing much needed revenue to cash-strapped municipalities.
Plus, the dispensaries are providing some very excellent bud, and the guys that work there don’t insist on matching bowls when all you want to do is go home, cook a Tombstone pizza, and watch Zardoz on Blu-Ray.