HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — Voters will once again decide whether Huntington Beach will allow cannabis businesses to operate in the city and tax them.
In a 5-2 vote, a Huntington Beach City Council majority Tuesday approved bringing a cannabis tax initiative back to voters in the Nov. 8 general election after a similar measure failed by a narrow margin last month.
"I think with 65%, 2 in 3 people effectively saying we agree to a tax and then 50% several years ago, I think, likely, they will vote to allow commercial cannabis in Huntington Beach," said council member Dan Kalmick.
The rehashed initiative comes a month after the city's Measure A failed to get the supermajority or 66% of voter approval needed to pass in the June primary election.
Measure A, which received 65% approval, would have placed a 6% tax on retail cannabis storefront and delivery businesses and other cannabis operations, including manufacturing and distribution, up to 1%.
Huntington Beach officials said the general tax generated from cannabis businesses could add up to $600,000 to the city annually. The money would then fund police and homeless and behavioral health services.
The city council had an Aug. 12 deadline to bring the issue back to voters in the November election cycle.
The council on Tuesday voted to get the initiative back on the ballot and, between now and October, will hash out the framework of the ordinance.
"Ideally, have it done before the October ballots drop or at least have it substantially completed," said Kalmick to the council.
Kalmick said an ad hoc committee would review the framework and plans to host other town hall and study sessions about the new initiative.