Weed Wars

Dispatches from the California Marijuana Front

October 28, 2010
Husband and wife medical pot providers spar over local taxes

PK_PROP19 0013.JPGAn interesting political debate stirs these days over at Canna Care, one of Sacramento's most established medical marijuana dispensaries.

As California voters contemplate Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana for recreational use, Canna Care co-founders Bryan and Lanette Davies are united in their opposition to allowing pot for anything other than medical use.

But they are parting notably on Sacramento's Measure C. The local measure would allow the capital city to impose a tax of up to 4 percent on existing medical marijuana outlets and a tax of up to 10 percent on recreational pot sales if Prop 19 passes.

Neither Davies cares about recreational taxes. They say Canna Care has no interest of going into the leisure weed business.

But, though he thinks "4 percent is a little steep," Bryan Davies says it's a good idea to impose the local fee on dispensaries - despite the fact Canna Care already pays about $200,000 a year in state sales taxes.

"I would support a tax, an extra tax on top of the sales tax, for the money to go directly to emergency services, police, fire and ambulance," Bryan Davies said. "I'm going to trust my leaders in this community to allocate the money properly. I'm going to vote yes on that."

But Lanette Davies sees Measure C as an unfair levy on dispensaries and medical marijuana users.

"I couldn't care less if they tax recreational," she said. "But on medical, our patients are already ill. They're on disability. They're off work because of their illnesses. Many are low income. They're using cannabis because they can't afford pharmaceuticals. I don't feel that the tax is fair. I can't think of any other medical industry that they're doing a special tax for."

Two views on Sacramento's Measure C: For the husband, vote "yes;" for the wife, vote "no."

Pictured: Lanette Davies and Canna Care employee Joe Hough with dispensary's mobile billboard against Proposition 19. Davies and her husband, Bryan, both oppose Prop 19 but part on local taxes on medical marijuana. Sacramento Bee file/Paul Kitagaki Jr.

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