County of Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz County
Cannabis Licensing

Taxes

Cannabis business taxes were first passed by the voters through Measure K on 11/4/2014 and applied to retail dispensaries. The rate approved was up to 10% on gross receipts of cannabis businesses in the unincorporated County.

On 11/8/2016 voters passed Measure E which extended taxation authority of up to 10% on all gross receipts to any cannabis business operating in the unincorporated County. This included business involved in cultivating, dispensing, transporting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, processing, preparing, storing, packaging, or conducting wholesale and/or retail sales of cannabis and any ancillary products.

If you are conducting any commercial sales of your cannabis or cannabis products, you MUST be paying your cannabis business tax on gross sales as of November 9, 2016. Failure to pay taxes could result in your being disqualified from obtaining a license in the future.

Cannabis Business Taxes are collected through the office of the Auditor-Controller/Treasurer-Tax Collector. Click here for more information.

Cannabis business tax rates:

All rates should be calculated on gross receipts.

  • Dispensaries / Retail Cannabis Businesses 7%
  • Cultivation / Non-retail Cannabis Businesses 5%
    (January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2019)
  • Cultivation / Non-retail Cannabis Businesses 6%
    (January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2021)
  • Cultivation / Non-retail Cannabis Businesses 7%
    (January 1, 2022)
  • Distribution / Cannabis Businesses 0%
  • Manufacturing / Non-retail Cannabis Businesses 5%
    (January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2019)
  • Manufacturing / Non-retail Cannabis Businesses 6%
    (January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2021)
  • Manufacturing / Non-retail Cannabis Businesses 7%
    (January 1, 2022)
  • All other / Non-retail Cannabis Businesses 7%

All of the proceeds from the Cannabis Business Tax shall be placed in the County’s general fund and used for the usual current expenses of the County.
For more info view the Cannabis Business Tax ordinance.