SALINAS, Calif. – The debate over marijuana taxes

SALINAS, Calif. – The debate over marijuana taxes continues in Monterey County.

The board of supervisors is considering much lower rates for the next fiscal year.

Local growers have said the current rate of $15 per square foot of cultivation was a number that would drive them out of business. They’re asking to shrink it to between $4 and $8.

After about an hour of pleas from business owners and workers the board’s cannabis committee agreed to talk about a change.

“There has been an increase in layoffs and a decrease in workloads, because the operators cannot afford to plant the next harvest. We need to create an incentive for A, people to stay in business. B, to be legal. C, that we can put capital.”

The $4 to $8 figure is also lower than the $10 rate recommended by the Monterey County administrative office. Local cannabis groups said that tax would still be too high to do business here.

KION’s Aaron Groff will have more on this story tonight at 6, including why the board agreed to talk about these much lower taxes.