The Los Angeles City Clerk announced Monday that proponents of a ballot measure aimed at imposing a $60 business tax on every $1,000 worth of marijuana sold in Los Angeles had gathered enough signatures on a qualifying petition—and that the Los Angeles City Council is required to submit the proposal for a public vote.
Because the measure contains tax provisions adopted by voters under “Measure M” in the March 8, 2011, elections, the City Council “must submit the proposed ordinance to a vote of the electorate at the next election at which all the qualified voters of the City are entitled to vote,” City Clerk June Lagmay said.
The announcement by Lagmay comes five days after a separate initiative also garnered enough signatures to be sent to the City Council. With that measure, which would create an ordinance limiting the number of marijuana storefronts in the city to 100, operating under stricter regulations, the council has three options: Adopt the ordinance; call a special election; or place it on the ballot of the city election on May 21.
Both petitions gathered the mandatory 41,138 signatures, following a random sampling procedure in which at least 5 percent of all the signatures were examined, according to the city clerk.
The City Council voted in July 2012 to ban all storefront dispensaries but reversed its decision three months later when medical marijuana supporters gathered enough signatures to repeal the ban. The Los Angeles City Attorney's office last year proposed a "Limited Immunity Ordinance" that would exempt a certain number of marijuana clinics from enforcement, in accordance with a plan proposed by Councilman Paul Koretz.
The City Council is expected to address the proposal to tax marijuana clinics before Jan. 30, according to the city clerk’s statement.