Mississippi Group Submits Enough Signatures to Place Medical Marijuana on 2020 Ballot


2019-09-07 01:03:00 Business Times


Editor’s note: This piece was originally included as a sidebar in Kenneth Morrow’s September 2019 column. I admire this simple example of sustainability done right… Anthony Myint is co-founder of several San Francisco restaurants, including Mission Chinese Food and Commonwealth. In April 2019, Myint and his partner Karen Leibowitz decided to add a 1-percent surcharge onto their restaurants’ bills as part of the Restore California Renewable Restaurants initiative. Proceeds from that initiative go to California’s Healthy Soil Program, which helps farmers transition to methods that put carbon back in the soil. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle,Myint stated that if 1 percent of restaurants in California participated in this program it would generate $10 million annually toward healthy soils. The program is completely voluntary and customers can ask that the surcharge be removed from their bill. When I first became aware of Myint’s initiative, I found it very proactive, farmer-friendly. I shared Myint’s initiative on my Instagram feed and received this comment: “sounds nice…. But Cali doesn’t need another tax… Especially from food and agriculture department. Should add this tax to cannabis and try and make up some more (insert crying face emoji).” I am torn about that comment. No, California does not need another tax, as it already has the highest income tax rate in the U.S., among a abundance of other taxes from fuel to sugary drinks. In that sense, I get it. But again, this initiative is voluntary. Would I choose to pay a 1-percent surcharge at a fast food restaurant that exploits the workers that cook food that is bad for me? Absolutely not! Yet it would be an absolute pleasure to pay a 1-percent surcharge to an establishment that operates in a sustainable manner and incentivizes and rewards the local farmers that produce their food—and cares enough about their food producers to pay a premium price for premium products produced in a sustainable manner with a focus on healthy soil composition.  And it seems others agree: the Basque culinary world prize was just awarded Myint and his wife/co-owner 100,000 euros for their work to fight climate change through “zerofoodprint” which is an initiative to help restaurants reduce their carbon footprint. Could this model be replicated in the cannabis space? I personally would choose to pay a higher price to a grower for superior products produced in a sustainable manner. And I believe others will too. Earlier this year, in May, California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office amended its 2019 and 2020 cannabis revenue tax projections: from $355 million to $288 million (in 2019) and from $514 million to $359 million (in 2020). Something similar happened in Sonoma County, where supervisors saw a shortfall in tax revenue in the 2017-2018 fiscal year and adjusted the 2018-2019 fiscal year projections. The 2018-2019 fiscal year ended in Sonoma County on June 30, and the county had surpassed its conservative projection by nearly $1 million. “The cannabis program is still relatively new, and the budget projections were conservative,” Sonoma County Administrative Analyst Hannah Euser told the North Bay Business Journal. “There was also an increase in permitted operations in industrial zones over previous years.” In short: The cannabis industry continues to grow in California, but not to the point that public officials are feeling the confidence that comes with an anticipated tax wellspring. Part of this stems from California’s precarious position of having the world’s largest cannabis market burdened by high tax rates and regulatory costs—which keeps the illicit market thriving and the tax boon at bay. Revenues from the licensed marketplace are up year-over-year, from 2018 to 2019, but not enough to satisfy early hopes for the state. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy pointed out that California’s cannabis tax revenue is lagging behind nearly every other state that has legalized cannabis and built out a regulated marketplace. (Massachusetts is the only state that has opened the door to adult-use sales since California did so, and it’s the only state that is bringing in less revenue through cannabis taxes per capita).  “This lackluster performance is partly due to the legal market’s short tenure … and partly due to policies that make it more difficult than average to open a legal cannabis store in California⁠—and easier than average to operate an illegal one,” according to research director Carl Davis.
编辑笔记:这篇文章最初是作为肯尼斯·莫罗2019年9月专栏的侧栏。 我欣赏这个简单的可持续性例子做正确… Anthony Myint 是旧金山几家餐厅的联合创始人,包括 Mission Chinese Food 和 Commonwealth 。2019年4月, Myint 和他的合作伙伴 Karen Leibowitz 决定在餐馆的账单上增加1%的附加费,作为 Restore California 可再生餐厅计划的一部分。该倡议的收益将用于加州的健康土壤计划,该计划帮助农民过渡到将碳放回土壤中的方法。在接受《旧金山纪事报》采访时, Myint 说,如果加州1%的餐馆参与这个项目,每年将为健康土壤带来1000万美元的收入。该计划是完全自愿的,客户可以要求从他们的账单中扣除附加费。 当我第一次意识到 Myint 的倡议时,我发现它非常积极主动,对农民友好。我在 Instagram feed 上分享了 Myint 的创意,并接受了这个评论:“听起来很棒……”。但 Cali 不需要另外的税收,特别是来自食品和农业部门的税收。应该给大麻加税,尝试再加税(插入哭泣的表情符号)。” 我对这一评论感到恼火.不,加州不需要另一种税收,因为它已经在美国拥有最高的所得税税率,以及从燃料到含糖饮料的大量其他税收。从这个意义上说,我得到了。 但同样,这一举措也是自愿的。我会选择在一家快餐店支付1%的附加费,这家快餐店利用那些为我烹制有害食品的工人?绝对不会!然而,向一个以可持续方式运营、激励和奖励当地农民生产食品的机构支付1%的附加费,并对他们的食品生产商给予足够的关注,以可持续的方式为生产的优质产品支付高价,同时关注健康的土壤成分,这绝对是一种乐趣。 其他人似乎也认同这一点:巴斯克烹饪世界大奖刚刚授予 Myint 和他的妻子/共同所有人10万欧元,用于他们通过“零食打印”( zerofoodprint )对抗气候变化的工作,这是一项帮助餐厅减少碳足迹的举措。 这一模式能否在大麻领域复制?我个人会选择向种植者支付更高的价格来购买以可持续方式生产的优质产品。我相信别人也会这样。 今年早些时候,在5月,加利福尼亚州州长。Gavin Newsom 的办公室修正了其2019年和2020年大麻税收预测:从3.55亿美元到2.88亿美元(2019年),从5.14亿美元到3.59亿美元(2020年)。 索诺马县也发生了类似的事情,在那里,监管人员看到2017-2018财年的税收缺口,并调整了2018-2019财年的预测。2018年至2019年财政年度在6月30日结束的索诺马县,该县已超过其保守预测近100万美元。 “大麻计划仍相对较新,预算预测较为保守,”索诺马县行政分析师 Hannah Euser 对《北湾商业日报》表示。“与前几年相比,允许在工业区开展的业务也有所增加。” 简而言之:大麻产业在加州持续增长,但并没有达到政府官员对即将到来的春季税收充满信心的程度。部分原因在于加州的不稳定地位,即全球最大的大麻市场受到高税率和监管成本的沉重负担——这使得非法市场得以繁荣,税收也受到打击。 从2018年到2019年,特许市场的收入同比增长,但不足以满足政府早期的希望。 美国税收与经济政策研究所( Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy )指出,加州大麻税收入几乎落后于其他所有大麻合法化并建立监管市场的州。(马萨诸塞州是自加州开始允许成人使用大麻销售的唯一州,也是唯一通过人均大麻税减少收入的州)。 研究主管卡尔•戴维斯( Carl Davis )表示:“这种乏善可陈的表现,在一定程度上是由于法律市场的任期较短……部分原因是政策使得在加州开设合法大麻商店比一般人更困难,而且比一般人更容易操作非法大麻。”