Town Reaps Tens of Thousands From Marijuana Dispensaries

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Photo: Anna Hiatt/Castro Valley Patch
Mason jars are used to keep the marijuana fresh at Alameda County’s We Are Hemp

​Tens of thousands of dollars in previously unclaimed taxes are headed back to the unincorporated Eden area of Alameda County, California, after two medical marijuana dispensaries were restored to local tax rolls.

We Are Hemp and Garden of Eden are the two dispensaries that, according to reporter Sonja Sharp at the Castro Valley Patch, “put Cherryland head and shoulders above Ashland and San Lorenzo in this spring’s cash-in-the-couch cushions bonanza.”
The cash in the couch cushions of which the Patch speaks is that found by local volunteers pounding the pavement for the Alameda County Redevelopment Agency, which had already uncovered some $72,000 in annual tax money “that had been falling into deeper pockets in San Leandro and Hayward.”
But that number, based on data provided by the agency, unintentionally omitted the dispensaries, the two biggest finds. Together, they boosted the newly discovered annual tax revenue about $160,000.
There are a few other businesses also left off the list that may push the total higher. But, according to Economic Development Director Bill Lambert, nothing comes close to the revenue from the two marijuana dispensaries.
“The pot clubs added about half,” he said.
The county has been working since last fall to recover sales taxes from what it initially believed might be only a handful of local businesses that had been misallocated to neighboring communities. Local volunteers discovered about 30 such businesses.
“In a community long divided over dispensaries, that’s welcome news,” noted the Patch.

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