Berkeley, California Becomes First Sanctuary City for Cannabis, Cuts Retail Pot Tax in Half – News

Photo According to the L.A. Times, Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to pass the sanctuary provision, blocking any local agencies, officials, or employees from using city funding or providing information to assist federal investigations into state-legal cannabis.

“The city of Berkeley does not support cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration in its efforts to undermine state and local marijuana laws,” the measure reads.

For Berkeley officials, the sanctuary city measure is a first-of-its-kind attempt at preventing a long-feared federal crackdown.

“Berkeley has always been a sanctuary city,” Councilman Bartlett added. “When Jeff Sessions announced he was repealing Obama-era protections on states’ rights in regards to cannabis, we decided to step up. “

According to SFGate, in addition to the cannabusiness protections, city councilors passed a cannabis tax cut introduced by Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, reducing the city’s retail cannabis tax from ten to five-percent. An effort to attract ganjapreneurs, local consumers and green tourists alike, city councilors noted that Berkeley’s original 10% rate was arbitrary from the start.

Unlike the sanctuary city measure, the Berkeley City Council did not come to a unanimous agreement about the legal weed tax reduction, with two Councilors abstaining from the vote in objection.

“Once you’ve lowered a tax, you pretty much are locking in that reduction,” said Councilwoman Sophie Hahn, who did not vote on the tax reduction, to SFGate.

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