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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
Local

City of Chula Vista
Measure Q - 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

Passed

48,607 votes yes (64.3%)

26,965 votes no (35.7%)

100% of precincts reporting (122/122).

80,462 ballots counted.

Cannabis Businesses Tax
— undefined

Shall the measure to impose a business license tax of at least 5%, and up to 15%, of gross receipts on cannabis (marijuana) businesses, and at least $5, and up to $25, per square foot on space dedicated to cannabis cultivation, to raise an estimated $6,000,000 per year, until voters change or repeal it, to fund general City services, including enforcement efforts against cannabis business that are operating illegally, be adopted?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Chula Vista City Clerk

CITY ATTORNEY’S IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS
Commercial Cannabis Tax Measure

Summary

If approved by a majority of the voters, Measure Q would impose a business license tax on all commercial cannabis activities within the City of Chula Vista. The City's Finance Director estimates that Measure Q would generate approximately $6 million per year in tax revenues. The City may spend such revenues for any lawful City purpose. The tax has not expiration date and would continue in effect unless modified or repealed by voters. 

Voter approval of Measure Q would have the effect of repealing the City's existing ban on cannabis businesses and replacing it with regulations that allow such businesses to operate in the City, on specified terms. If voters don't approve Measure Q, the City's existing ban on commercial cannabis activities would remain in effect. 

Authority and Method of Assessment

The Measure Q tax is authorized for levy under Aricle XIIIC of the California Constitutionand Article II of the City Charter. The Measure would impose an excise tax on all cannabis business activity conducted in the City. Cultivation businesses would be taxed at the rate in the rang of $5 to $25 per square foot of plant area. All other cannabis businesses (for example, storefront retail, delivery, manufacturing, distribution, and testing) would be taxed at a rate in the range of 5% to 15% of their gross receipts. From time to time, the City Council would set the actual tax rates to be imposed within these ranges. Voter approval would be required to impose a tax rate above or below these ranges. 

Effect on City's Exsisting Commercial Cannabis Ban

In March of 2018 the City Council adopted an ordinance (the "Commerical Cannabis Ordinance") to allow for the licensing and operation of cannabis businesses within the City. The effectiveness of this ordinance was made expressly contingent upon voter approval of a tax on cannabis businesses, like the tax proposed by Measure Q. 

If Measure Q passes, the Commercial Cannabis Ordinance would become operative, and the City could begin issuing licenses to qualifying cannabis business as early as January 1, 2019. The Commercial Cannabis Ordinance contains detailed provisions regarding the types of cannabis businesses allowed, the number of licenses available, owner/operator qualifications, zoning, and minimum setbacks from sensitive uses, such as, schools and parks. A copy of the Commercial Cannabis Ordinance is available from the City Clerk or online at: https://www.chulavistaca.gov/home/showdocument?id=18035

If Measure Q is rejected, the Commercial Cannabis Ordinance would not take effect, and the City's exsisting ban on cannabis would continue. Cannabis deliveries from licensed dispensararies located outside the City would continue to be allowed. 

Payment and Enforcement

Measure Q contains detailed provisions for the calculation, reporting and payment of taxes owed. The City Manager is authorized to administer and enforce its provisions, including the authorization to audit records, verify tax returns, and impose penalties for non-compliance. 

General Purpose Tax

The City Council is submitting Measure Q to the voters as a "general purpose tax." This means that the City Council will have discretion to spend Measure Q revenues on any lawful municipal purpose. Although not legally bound to do so, the City Council has expressed its intent to spend a portion of Measure Q revenues to fund enforcement against illegal cannabis businesses.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE Q

The decriminalization and legalization of cannabis is a national and international phenomenon. In most cases, it has been to help ill patients who need it to manage symptoms or as an alternative to opioids. Every day we learn of new medical applications of cannabis. In other cases, the movement has been allow for adult use of cannabis. California voters approved cannabis for medical use in 1996 and for adult use in 2016. 

The City Council's experience with illegal dispensaries and a citizen's initiative with very loose rules and regulations, convinced us that allowing cannabis businesses with strict limitations on where they can locate, controlling their hours of operation, and prohibiting sales to those under 21 years of age was best for our city. The tax proposal would raise about $6 million per year, enough to help us fund a strong enforcement program to ensure that our strict rules are followed and to permanently shut down illegal dispensaries. 

We have come to this decision point regarding the issue of commercial cannabis (marijuana) businesses in Chula Vista after months of complaints about illegal dispensaries that are open 24 hours per day and are concentrated near residential areas and schools. The City aggressively works to close down these illegal pot shops and to date has closed more than 35 shops. But as soon as one is closed it pops up again in another location. 

Your support will help provide the resources needed by the City to eliminate the illegal shops that are causing problems and to implement strong citizen protections by carefully controlling and regulating legal commercial cannabis businesses in Chula Vista. 

Mayor Mary Casillas Salas
On behalf of the Chula Vista City Council

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE Q

VOTE NO ON THIS TAX

VOTE NO ON RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA BUSINESSES IN CHULA VISTA

Vote NO! Don't allow recreational marijuana businesses to operate in Chula Vista !

Vote NO! Last March, the City Council passed an ordinance allowing recreational marijuana businesses to operate in our city. It will NOT go into effect if voters Vote NO on Measure Q. 

  • Measure Q allows 12 recreational marijuana storefronts and delivery businesses to open in Chula Vista, with businesses in EVERY council district;
  • It allows ten marijuana cultivation facilities of up to 20,000 square feet each; and
  • It allows unlimited marijuana processing factories producing food, drink and other consumable products

Vote NO! Don't allow recreational marijuana businesses to open in our neighborhoods with NO PUBLIC MEETINGS OR INPUT. This is NOT good legislation. Good legislation allows neighbors, businesses and community members to be notified so they can comment on the location and scope of proposed recreational marijuana businesses.

Vote NO! Measure Q states that tax revenue will be used "for any lawful purpose of the City" at the City Council's discretion. Nothing requires the City Council to fund enforcement of our laws or to fund prosecution of recreational marijuana businesses conducting business illegally. Nothing requires funding drug abuse prevention.

Vote NO! Don't let Chula Vista become the county's largest marijuana marketplace, decreasing your property values and bringing in more crime.

Vote NO! Colorado's marijuana businesses have seen more addiction, crime and DUls. Join other cities in San Diego county like Carlsbad, Coronado, Poway, and San Marcos that are committed to protecting their neighborhoods and vote no against this dishonest ordinance.

Vote NO! Chula Vista's good name, its family-friendly and business-friendly reputation should not be bought by drug bosses.

Vote No on Q

John Humiston, MD
Family Practice / Addiction Medicine

Danielle A Taysom, MD

Sandra Hodge
High School Teacher, Chula Vista

Carol Green
Chula Vista Parent / Volunteer

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments FOR

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE Q

Don't be confused! Measure Q is only about RECREATIONAL marijuana. This measure has NO impact on current medical marijuana laws which allows patients and caregivers to use and distribute marijuana to each other.

It seems the City wants us to believe that proposed marijuana businesses will have no effect on our children nor our communities because they think they can control the negative consequences. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Measure Q is a tax on city permitted marijuana businesses which means that unpermitted marijuana businesses will continue to INCREASE knowing they can undercut the pricing. Despite having greater resources, the city of San Diego has exploded with more black-market marijuana business since inviting marijuana businesses to town. And San Diego's marijuana businesses use rampant and predatory advertising and promotions in prominent places, normalizing its use.

ALL TAX REVENUES GOTOTHE GENERAL FUND. Notone penny is earmarked for enforcement. The City has published no information on projected enforcement costs or costs of programs to mitigate the harmful effects upon the community. City leaders admitted just one week after passage of Measure A, the sales tax increase for public safety, that they may not be able to carry out a planned increase in police officers.

With the City projecting multi-million-dollar structural budget deficits for the foreseeable future how do we know marijuana business enforcement will not have a similar fate?

Vote NO on Measure Q! No commercial marijuana businesses in Chula Vista.

Theresa Acerro 
Secretary, Southwest Chula Vista Civic Association

Danielle A Taysom, MD

Roberto Lopez
San Diego County Sheriff’s Dept, Retired Sergeant

Carol Green
Chula Vista Parent / Volunteer

Peter Watry Jr.
Chairman, Crossroads II

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

REBUTIAL TO THE ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE Q

A limited and carefully controlled cannabis market is better than an unlimited black market. Chula Vista is already feeling the effects of this uncontrolled black market. Illegal marijuana businesses are open 24 hours per day near homes and schools. These illegal shops cause many problems for neighbors including loitering, noise, and public consumption of marijuana. Although every effort ismade to close them down, they are so lucrative, they simply pop up down the street.

Measure Q will ensure that the City has the resources it needs to close down and prosecute illegal marijuana businesses.

Measure Q will allow no more than two retail storefronts in any council district. The hours of operations will be limited and carefully monitored to avoid the problems caused by illegal shops. Shops will be prohibited from selling to anyone under 21 years of age.

Measure Q will allow only 10 cultivation businesses. All must be indoors, control odors, with no public access, and limited to industrial areas. Other businesses that manufacture, test, and distribute cannabis products are also limited to industrial areas and have no public access. All licensed cannabis businesses must have security guards on site 24 hours per day.

The voters of California approved the legalization of cannabis for medicinal and adult use. Several states and many cities have approved limited and tightly controlled cannabis markets, without negative effects on their citizenry.

Measure Q will allow the City of Chula Vista to implement a cannabis ordinance that took more than one year to develop with multiple public workshops.

Mayor Mary Casillas Salas
On behalf of the Chula Vista City Council

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

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Due to its length, the text of this measure will not be entered into Voter's Edge by a League of Women Voters volunteer. Instead, Voter's Edge will point to a PDF version of a sample ballot prepared by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters: https://www2.sdcounty.ca.gov/rov/Sample_Ballots/Eng/SB-ENG-593.pdf

To find your own sample ballot version, containing all the candidates and measures on your own ballot, please use the ROV's sample ballot look-up tool at https://www2.sdcounty.ca.gov/rov/Eng/ballot.asp .

The full text of this measure is also available from the Chula Vista City Clerk at https://www.chulavistaca.gov/home/showdocument?id=18035

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Who supports or opposes this measure?

Yes on Measure Q

Organizations (1)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)
No on Measure Q

Organizations (1)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)

More information

News (1)

Measure Q will decide the fate of Chula Vista's pot future — October 5, 2018 San Diego Union-Tribune
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