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Humboldt County, California to Consider Lowering Cannabis Taxes

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On Nov. 19, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors in northern California made a decision to adjust cannabis tax billing in order to help ease finances for smaller local cultivators. They also stated that at a future meeting they will consider tax incentives for smaller cannabis farms for those that rely on renewable energy options to keep their businesses up and running.

According to The Times-Standard, any cannabis cultivation farms that are smaller than 5,000 square feet could rely on a 10 percent reduction tax on their business payments (no more than $5,000). A Humboldt County staff report noted that an approach such as this would greatly assist the small, up-and-coming cannabis farms in the area. “While the federal and state governments, and local utilities, offer tax incentives and rebates based on energy output, project cost or flat dollar amounts, staff is proposing that each incentive simply result in a reduction of a percentage of a cultivator’s tax bill. This approach provides simplicity in terms of calculating and administering the benefit,” the report reads.

Unfortunately only certain cultivators would be able to take advantage of this offering, if the Board of Supervisors decided to proceed. Newer environmental and road standards have been introduced to the Humboldt County cannabis ordinance, and only cultivators who signed up with the older, less restrictive laws can proceed with the proposed tax reduction.

Many officials and public speakers spoke about the prospective idea of lowering taxes to help out smaller cultivation businesses. Supervisor Steve Madrone spoke in support of the cannabis tax incentives, and added that he would like to see the 5,000 square foot maximum business space to be reduced to 2,500 square foot instead. Supervisor Mike Wilson noted that he hopes to make it a point to establish an end date for the energy and road incentives, claiming that not all small cultivation farms produce less. The chair of the California Growers Association, Nathan Whittington, publicly commented that such a tax reduction effort would help “streamline the process for our smallest cultivators.”

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