An owner of a Vallejo marijuana dispensary believes the city is blowing it by ignoring potential tax revenue from increasing pot shop hours.
U.S. Bloom proprietor Scott Foster, 69, adds that the city is not delivering the promise of putting weed revenue into law enforcement. Foster said the city isn’t using what he believes is roughly $5 million a year in marijuana tax revenue “for what they money was intended for — regulations and law enforcement.”
A significant portion of the Measure C tax money, said Foster, “should go to help law enforcement combat the black market and crime associated with it. The original use of the tax was supposed to be used for the cost creating and maintaining the regulations.”
Not so, said City Manager Greg Nyhoff through the city’s public information officer, Christina Lee, providing a printed statement from “Vote Yes on Measure C” stating: “The revenue generated would help increase city services such as public safety, libraries, senior and youth programs, and improve our streets.”
Hanyia Thompson helps a customer inside US Bloom Collective on Springs Road in Vallejo. (Chris Riley—Times-Herald)
“We were all aware it was going into the General Fund,” said Vallejo City Councilmember Hakeem Brown. “In hindsight, I think collectively as business owners in this community, we would have liked to see that funding going toward keeping the community safe while investing in our kids and education. There is a lot of crime in the community, a lot of gun violence. I definitely wish that some of the money had been earmarked to go into areas of real need.”
For the fiscal year 2019-2020, the city secured $2.96 million in Measure C funding, according to Nyhoff.
Foster opened U.S. Bloom in 2011 and said he’s paid between $4 million and $4.5 million in taxes to