California BIPOC Cannabis Operators Rally in Sacramento for Tax Relief

A group of licensed cannabis business owners gathered on the steps of the California Capitol on Thursday to pay attention to the impact of high cannabis taxes on independent entrepreneurs. Governor Gavin Newsom’s demonstration in response to a state budget proposal last month was held by Super Nova Women, a non-profit organization in Auckland working to create opportunities for blacks and browns in the cannabis industry. it was done.

The rally was attended by more than 50 black, indigenous, or colored (BIPOC) cannabis business owners, patients, and policy makers, including the elimination of the cannabis excise tax on authorized social justice. Called for some changes to cannabis regulations. business.

Sacramento’s licensed cannabis founder and owner, Maisha Bahti, said: Retailer Crystal Nag. “This business must survive. Failure is not an option for me. I put everything I have into this business. Being a social equity business with a 40% tax. Is killing my dream of creating generational wealth for me and my children. “

Budget will temporarily reduce pot tax

On May 13, Newsom announced a draft budget for the fiscal year 2022-2023, including a temporary tax cut for the licensed cannabis business. Under the proposal, Proposal 64, a 2016 voting bill that legalized recreation pots in California, will be amended to eliminate the cultivation tax paid by cannabis growers.

However, those attending a rally in Sacramento on Thursday said the proposed tax cuts were not well underway and called on Newsom and state legislators to take further action by the July 1 budget deadline. It states that there is. Tax social equity businesses, reduce cannabis resection tax for all other companies to 5%, systematize state-wide social equity definitions and establish state resection tax exemption eligibility.

“Governor Newsom advertised Proposal 64 not as a tax revenue opportunity, but as a historic opportunity for racial and social justice and economic empowerment, which disproportionately criminalizes blacks and Latin Americans. This is to remedy the damage caused by the drug war, “the Amber Center rallies. In a pre-event statement, Supernova Women’s organizer and executive director explained.

“Still, five years later, California’s black and brown cannabis operators voted for Newsom twice instead of once, but they are literally endangered due to the annoyance of state taxes. Is in the black for $ 100 billion. ”The center continued. “Where is racial and social justice in it? Without immediate meaningful tax reform, the few remaining BIPOC cannabis and social justice businesses in California would not survive and they Serving communities and patients do not have access to affordable and safe cannabis. This is a major health crisis today and misses tomorrow’s financial opportunities. “

Two bills offer cannabis tax cuts In California

In a video released last week, State Senator Steven Bradford expressed his support for Thursday’s rally goals. Bradford is a sponsor of two bills to provide tax exemptions for the cannabis business and its owners. Senate Bill 1281, This will abolish the cultivation tax and reduce the cannabis sales tax from 15% to 5%. Another law, Senate Bill 1293Allows social capital applicants and licensees a $ 10,000 tax credit on personal income tax and corporate tax.

“Without meaningful changes to California’s cannabis tax policy, the industry is destined to fail, especially for equity cannabis operators operating with very thin margins.” Bradford said in the video Post online.

Demonstrators at the rally on Thursday are also calling for changes to California’s social equity provisions. Under state law, social justice programs currently governed by local jurisdictions are not allowed to consider race or ethnicity as eligibility criteria. Rally organizers will establish the eligibility of companies with 51% or more ownership by those who have lived in a low-income community disproportionately affected by the war on drugs for more than 5 years, or who have close relatives. We recommend a new state-wide definition. Arrested or convicted of pot-related crimes.

“According to LAPD records, 75% of cannabis-related arrests in Los Angeles in 2020 were blacks and Latino Americans,” said Whitney Beatty, CEO of LA Weed Speak Easy Josephine & Billie’s. “Ladies in the state of white operators who dominate the industry, which has physically, emotionally, psychologically and economically imprisoned many BIPOC people in LA alone due to the majority of Los Angeles ethnic minorities. May help rewrite history. Level of protection for vulnerable social equity operators and BIPOC patients. “

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