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Keeping Up with Cannabis in Calabasas  

420 FILE-Legal cannabis won big at the ballot box last Tuesday, especially in the tony Los Angeles County suburb of Calabasas where voters approved Measure C, a measure to tax cannabis delivered within its city limits.

Although Calabasas currently bans dispensaries, a 2018 law states that cannabis can be delivered ANYWHERE in the state, regardless of whether or not dispensaries are permitted. 

Measure C places a 10-percent excise tax on the yearly gross receipts of businesses delivering -- or transporting, dispensing, manufacturing, processing cannabis within city limits, with estimations of $10,000 plus in future revenues to be added to public coffers from deliveries alone. 

There is little doubt that these additional excise taxes will be passed to the consumer, making deliveries into the gated communities of Calabasas more expensive with higher delivery fees and product costs.  

Is this the quintessential “jump the shark” moment for the small city? There is a distinct difference between procuring revenue off home delivery to the sick and disabled, and taxing those “recreational” marijuana users seeking convenience over visiting Los Angeles dispensaries.   

Let’s take this opportunity to have the conversation, and craft thoughtful cannabis ordinance language reflective of this nascent industry and the differences between these two disparate groups of product consumers.  

Everyone is hustling for the American Dream, and cannabis affords tremendous opportunity for consumers, municipalities, and operators alike. 


(Gary Mittin is a commercial real estate broker, specializing in cannabis real estate.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.