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Tuesday November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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City of Paso Robles
Measure I-18 Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results


7,429 votes yes (67.22%)

3,622 votes no (32.78%)

100% of precincts reporting (14/14).

11,780 ballots counted.

To improve basic city services, such as police and emergency response, parks and youth/senior services, and street repair, shall the City of Paso Robles adopt an ordinance enacting a tax on cannabis-related activities in the amount of up to $20 per square foot for cultivation/processing; up to 10% of gross receipts for transportation; up to 15% of gross receipts for manufacturing, testing, and distribution; and up to 10% of gross receipts for dispensaries, generating approximately $15,000 annually initially for unrestricted general purposes, until ended by voters?

What is this proposal?

Details — Official information

YES vote means

A “yes” vote on Measure I-18 will approve the cannabis business tax identified above.


NO vote means

A “no” vote on Measure I-18 will not approve the cannabis business tax identified above. 

Impartial analysis / Proposal

IRIS YANG City Attorney

Measure I-18, if approved by a majority of the voters voting on the measure, will enact an Ordinance adding Chapter 3.22 to the El Paso de Robles Municipal Code. That chapter would impose a tax on cannabis businesses operating within the City.  Measure I-18 is a tax measure only.  It does not amend the City’s existing cannabis business regulations or authorize new or additional types of cannabis businesses to operate in the City.

If approved, Measure I-18 would impose the following maximum tax rate on every person or entity engaged in operating or conducting a cannabis business within the City: a cultivation tax of up to twenty dollars ($20.00) per square foot of space utilized in connection with the cultivation and processing of cannabis; a gross receipts tax of up to ten percent (10%) for all cannabis transportation; a gross receipts tax of up to fifteen percent (15%) for all cannabis manufacturing, testing, and distribution; and a gross receipts tax of up to ten percent (10%) for dispensaries.  The term “cannabis business” means any business, organization or facility, regardless of form, whether operating for profit or not for profit, that cultivates, possesses, manufactures, distributes, processes, stores, laboratory tests, packages, labels, delivers, and/or sells cannabis and/or cannabis products, excluding personal cultivation of medical or adult use cannabis authorized by the Municipal Code and State law.  The City Council may increase or decrease the applicable tax rates so long as they do not exceed the maximum rates listed above.

The City currently prohibits all commercial marijuana activity, with the limited exception of certain medical cannabis delivery services.  If approved, Measure I-18 would impose a tax on those businesses currently operating in the City, as well as any other cannabis businesses that may be authorized by the City Council in the future, in the event the City Council amends the Municipal Code to permit or authorize new or additional cannabis businesses in the City.  As noted above, Measure I-18 would not change or expand the number or types of cannabis businesses currently allowed in the City.  If approved, Measure I-18 is anticipated to initially raise approximately $15,000 annually.  

The cannabis business tax would be a general tax on legally operating businesses, meaning that the revenue raised from the tax would go into the City’s general fund and could be used for any legal governmental purpose, such as street maintenance, police, fire, emergency response, parks, and recreational programs.   

The City Council adopted Resolution No. 18-094 on June 19, 2018 to approve the placement of Measure I-18 on the ballot. If approved, Measure I-18 will continue in effect until repealed by City Council or City voters.

A “yes” vote on Measure I-18 will approve the cannabis business tax identified above.

A “no” vote on Measure I-18 will not approve the cannabis business tax identified above. 


Published Arguments — Arguments for and against

Arguments FOR

The passage of Proposition 64 legalized recreational cannabis in California and gave local governments the responsibility to provide oversight and regulations.  Currently, the City of Paso Robles does not allow cannabis business activity other than deliveries to residences, but additional cannabis activities could someday be authorized.  It is important to impose a reasonable and fair taxation of commercial cannabis businesses within the City, and protect local control.

Measure I-18 places a general tax on commercial cannabis businesses, which can protect the City in the event increased enforcement is needed.  If approved, this would generate about $15,000 per year; supporting street maintenance, police, fire, parks, recreation, and other programs.  It does not amend the City’s existing cannabis business regulations or authorize new or additional types of cannabis businesses.

The City’s goals in regulating commercial cannabis businesses are to: reduce and eliminate the black market for cannabis; establish reasonable and comprehensive regulations that preserve the health and safety of our community; provide access to medical cannabis for those who benefit from its use; establish a new source of funding that benefits the community; and create a fair and reasonable tax structure that supports legally operated cannabis businesses. 

Measure I-18 will be implemented with tightly regulated processes, which will necessarily impose additional costs on the City.  All programs funded will be subject to oversight and review, and fully audited.  Whether or not you support Proposition 64, it is important to ensure that legally operating cannabis business operations, such as cultivation and manufacturing, be fairly taxed.  Measure I-18 is fiscally responsible, timely and prudent, and similar to a tax approved by the voters for the unincorporated areas of the County. 

Your “YES” vote on Measure I-18 shows your support for protecting the values, quality of life, and health and wellness of the residents of the City of Paso Robles.

s/ Steven Martin, Mayor

s/ Steve Gregory, Mayor Pro-Tem

s/ Fred Strong, City Councilmember

s/ Matt McClish





Arguments AGAINST


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