Voters approved ballot measures to allow and tax cannabis in every Inland Empire city where it was on the ballot Tuesday, Nov. 6, except one.
In San Bernardino County, voters approved measures to allow cannabis, tax it or both in Adelanto, Colton, Hesperia and San Bernardino. In western Riverside County, voters favored such measures in Banning, Jurupa Valley, Moreno Valley and Perris. But Hemet bucked the trend by voting to continue a council-backed ban and against allowing and taxing non-retail cannabis.
And in Pomona, voters gave more than 70 percent of the vote to a measure allowing the city to tax future legal cannabis businesses, according to Los Angeles County registrar results posted just before 5 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7.
The San Bernardino County numbers are final but unofficial. Riverside County’s numbers, posted at 7:30 a.m., don’t yet include some vote-by-mail, provisional or damaged ballots.
Prop. 64, which legalized recreational marijuana statewide, also gave cities and counties the power to regulate commercial cannabis within their borders.
Each measure needs a majority to pass. In cities with competing proposals, if both receive more than 50 percent, whichever measure receives more “yes” votes will become law Jan. 1.
San Bernardino County
Adelanto: Measure S took more than 71 percent of more than 2,500 votes cast. It will tax cannabis businesses up to $5 per square foot of space used for cannabis cultivation and nurseries, and up to 5 percent of the gross receipts from the retail sale, delivery, manufacturing, processing, testing and distribution of cannabis and related products.
Colton: Measure U won 69 percent of nearly 6,000 votes cast in Colton. It will put a tax on cannabis businesses of up to $25 per square foot of space utilized for cannabis cultivation/processing, and up to 10 percent of gross receipts from the sale of cannabis and related products.
Hesperia: With more than 60 percent of the vote, Measure T is set to add a tax of between 1 percent and 6 percent on all commercial cannabis businesses except cultivation. Every square foot of space used for commercial cannabis cultivation would be taxed up to $15 per year. Both taxes could increase annually based on the consumer price index.
San Bernardino: The city’s two marijuana measures, both put on the ballot by the City Council, won by commanding margins as the Fourth District Court of Appeal decides whether to uphold or overturn a judge’s invalidation of Measure O, which voters approved in 2016.
Measure W, with nearly 64 percent of the vote, will impose a Cannabis Business Tax of up to $10 per square foot for cultivators and up to 6 percent of gross receipts on other businesses operating in the city.
Measure X had nearly 60 percent and will authorize council members to approve one commercial cannabis business permit per 12,500 residents of the city. With the current population of the city, the council could approve up to 17 permits.
Banning: Two measures, both put on the ballot by the Banning City Council to allow cannabis in the Industrial Zoning District and tax it, both had between 60 and 62 percent of the vote.
Measure N will authorize the city to enact an annual tax of between $15 and $25 per square foot for marijuana cultivation businesses and up to 10 percent of yearly receipts for manufacturing and testing businesses.
Measure O will add a 10 percent yearly tax on the gross receipts of cannabis retail businesses in the city, which the council could raise as high as 15 percent in the future.
Jurupa Valley: Six months after voters shot down their proposal to allow marijuana businesses in parts of Jurupa Valley, the same advocates are narrowly winning in their attempt to pass another ballot measure. This time, there’s one key difference: It would mean tax money the city could spend on other city services.
Measure L took nearly 52 percent of the vote, leading by 345 votes out of 8,903 cast. It would allow up to seven dispensaries and tax them $25 per square foot of space used for retail marijuana sales and $3 per square foot on other commercial cannabis activity.
Moreno Valley: The City Council voted in March to allow dispensaries and other marijuana businesses.
Measure M had more than 72 percent of more than 16,00 votes cast. It will allow a tax on those sales of up to 8 percent per year, along with a maximum of $15 a year per square foot of growing space for commercial growers.
Perris: Measure G, which had 71 percent of more than 4,000 votes, would impose a tax of up to 10 percent on cannabis distribution and manufacturing businesses that the City Council voted in January to allow.
Those operations are in two industrial zones: one in north Perris, and one in the southern part of the city.
Hemet: Nearly two out of every three voters — 65 percent — rejected Measure Y, which sought to allow an unlimited number of non-retail cannabis businesses in manufacturing zones as long as they’re not in residential zones, within 600 feet of schools or within 1,000 feet of three or more cannabis businesses. They would be taxed $10 per square foot.
To counter that measure, the City Council put Measure Z on the ballot, which bans marijuana businesses for at least two years. The continued ban was ahead much more narrowly, with nearly 53 percent of almost 11,000 votes counted.