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Should Large Marijuana Growers Pay Extra For Electricity?


arcata california electricity tax cannabis gardensWill More Cities Pass Measures To Tax Large Scale Marijuana Growers?

While many marijuana activists around the country were celebrating the marijuana legalization and mmj victories in Washington, Colorado, and Michigan, a small town in Northern California was celebrating a different kind of marijuana reform victory. The citizens of Arcata, California, which is right in the heart of the ‘Emeral Triangle’, voted 69% to 31% to adopt a new tax on large marijuana gardens.

If someone uses more than three times the ‘average’ amount of electricity, then they have to pay a 45 percent tax on that electricity. The bill (Measure I) is aimed at large scale marijuana growers that long time residents of Arcata feel are ruining their town.

“Mayor Michael Winkler said the vote shows even though people in Arcata are pretty liberal about marijuana, they want the large indoor growing operations out of their neighborhoods. If growers don’t leave, Winkler says he will ask voters to raise the tax even more. He also hopes to persuade neighboring communities to take similar steps.” According to the Mercury News.

“Our hope is to drive the large-scale growing operations out of town,” Shane Brinton, a city councilman and vice mayor, stated in an AP article less than two weeks ago. “I don’t view it as anti-marijuana,” said Brinton. “It’s a land-use issue, a public safety issue, and environmental issue as well.”

What do TWB readers think? Do you think there should be a tax on large scale marijuana gardens? Do you think that there should be no extra tax at all? I wouldn’t be surprised to see this start popping up in more and more ‘marijuana towns’ in Northern California and Southern Oregon, and possibly beyond. Almost all of the locals I know in Southern Oregon complain about people flooding into the area to grow marijuana. From what I can tell, the electricity tax in Arcata is the first of it’s kind in the nation.


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Johnny Green


  1. thease people prohibitionist are just attacking everything and scamming ways to take earning form the hemp framer just GFYSA my surrestion to those worry to go solar and used batteries / only used back up city electricity if needed / used LED s and open windows sky lights . as its legal now in those two states and 18 for med reason

  2. taking my town back on

    the industrial growers that have flooded Arcata over the last several years have NO interest in ‘helping the sick’ or in keeping ‘a heavily armed population – mellow.’ before they got here we were mellow, and it wasn’t us that was heavily armed. they came here just to make mega-bucks by taking advantage of what was a good situation, and they don’t give a rats ass about either the locals or the environment. they’ve jerry-rigged lighting systems so badly that they’d burned down houses, dumped their chemicals and by-products into local waterways, driven up the prices of rental housing, brought a nasty element of violent crime that we never had before, and have pretty much ruined what used to be a great place to live.

    if anyone thinks that these growers are just cool hippies, then you obviously do not live here, are clueless, and should pipe down about us dealing with this. when one of them does get busted, they don’t have just weed…they have an arsenal of weapons, meth, and heroin. we’re over it, and this is just one step in getting every one of them gone for good.

  3. There they go again. Thinking anyone involved in growing marijuana is rich so they can automatically pay these outrageous taxes. I have no problem with a per ounce sold “taxing solution”. Anything else will be the state’s pipe dream and won’t work. Should this get the official federal nod, industrial agriculture (or BIG Ag) will have no problem growing enough to meet current and future demand and for the state to tax at that point of sale. What….you thought they’d be buying from some mom & pop grow operations in clandestine basement grows located all over who-knows-where?? Why do you think they want to keep the home grower from growing at home??? Because their scheme only works IF they truly control the market. And the fewer mega-growers the state has to deal with….the more they can control. Oh sure the price and quality COULD both be outstanding if done right. (And it’s going to quit raining in Washington too.) BUT….can’t you tell that they’d be into regulating the amount of THC in any particular strain – especially the….”approved” state sold brands (or anything else that could come to their….taxing minds) and using that also as another point of control as a “health issue”??

    And “medical marijuana” is a term that’s also soon to expire. Soon as the price that the state charges is UNDER the current prices charged by these money hungry dispensaries, they’ll be going the way of the video rental stores that were also once too common and on every street corner. Which is exactly the main complaint (if you hear any) that’s making the circulation of talking points opponents of the current medical marijuana dispensary system frequently spew. Once legal and grown by Big Ag and taxed at the point of sale (where ever that could be & just like they do with wine & spirits), all the while keeping the price down below what the soon-to-be OUT OF BUSINESS dispensaries would have charged, there won’t be any use for the term “medical marijuana” any longer or the high priced dispensary business model that now serves that need. Hey dispensary owner dude….you listening to and watching the trends of Mr Market about what’s coming??? Or will your apparent high rolling & good times (especially with those prices) last forever??? The proverbial writing is on the wall, if you ask me. The survival of the current system is tenuous at best and anything but assured. Good luck – (without change) you’ll be needing it….

  4. Large scale growers are ALREADY paying TOP $$$ for their electricity NOW. We DON’T charge FARMERS more for water, we DON’T charge Wal-mart more for THEIR electricity because they’re in it for the $$$. Why do we wanna keep TAXING EVERYTHING associated with Marijuana? Sooner or later we’ll have SO MANY TAXES on it that NO ONE will make ANY $$$ at all, in essence allowing Big Pharma to CONTROL the flow of Marijuana. They’ve done SUCH a good job of POISONING us up to now

  5. This will become a moot point. Law enforcement in B.C., and the rest of Canada, has found that illegal growers have been switching to low power LED grow lights. LED Grow-ops are more difficult to detect via the power utility providers because they use less power.

    LED lighting used to be a joke, but that is no longer true. LED technology has improved over the last few years and has the ability to equal or surpass HID lighting in intensity and color temperature at half the energy consumption as well as lowering air conditioning needs. They are expensive, but that will change as more companies compete for business.

    I am not going to get involved into the debate concerning the best LED grow lights (too many to comment on here), but take a look at what one of the leading LED manufacturers “Rigid Industries” has to offer for marine and off-road use.

    Full legalization is coming, resistance is futile…

  6. wake up and realise that IS the reason almost ANYONE helps the truly sick and all those MAJOR growers are the people that suply everone from mildly to severely sick.
    its all about the money just look initiatiaves that pass all leavy excessive Taxes to the state.

  7. sombody should remove the mayor and replace him with a human being let’s double the councils hydro u know a STUPID tax

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