TULARE, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Voters in Tulare are being asked to decide if they want to pass a tax on cannabis in the form of Ballot Measure Y.

“it’s only a tax on the consumption of cannabis. So those who would purchase cannabis will have to pay a tax for that consumption,” City Manager Marc Mondell said after an informational city meeting on Monday. 

Mondell said Measure Y, or the Cannabis Business Tax Ordinance, is a proposed cannabis business tax. The official language from the city said the tax “levies annual rates not to exceed $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjustable for inflation) 10% of gross receipts for retail cannabis businesses, and 10% for all other cannabis businesses.” 

Mondell said if it passes and voters vote in favor of the measure, the money from Measure Y would in part go towards building a homeless shelter in Tulare. Something Mondell said the city desperately needs. 

“There was a decision that was made in the court systems back in 2018 that said if you are a community that has homeless individuals you cannot restrict them from camping in your parks or public spaces unless you have an equal number of beds available to them. So that really drives the reason why we have to have a shelter,” Mondell said. 

He added, they need to have at least 200 beds in the shelter and they’re looking at building it off of Bardsley Avenue, in an industrial area, far from any neighborhoods. 

He said if the measure doesn’t pass, the city will still want to move forward with the shelter. But they would have to dig into the general fund, leaving them with less money for other projects. 

“If Measure Y doesn’t pass, then the revenue we receive from the current lease agreements with the dispensaries, that revenue will still come in. Unfortunately, those development agreements are not equitable, one cannabis dispensary pays two percent of gross proceeds, and the other two pay five percent, so part of the reason for Measure Y is so that it’s equal among all three dispensaries,” he added. 

We did reach out to the three dispensaries in Tulare but they said they were unable to make a comment on Measure Y at the time.