Exeter places cannabis tax on November ballot

Voters will decide if Exeter should enact a cannabis business tax, the first step towards allowing recreational cannabis businesses within the city

EXETER – The Exeter City Council approved a resolution for the November 2022 ballot allowing citizens to vote for or against a cannabis business tax within the city of Exeter.

Currently, there are no recreational cannabis businesses within the city of Exeter. Enacting this tax is a step in the direction of potentially allowing those businesses to open in Exeter, however, if passed it does not guarantee that cannabis businesses will open in Exeter.

There is one medicinal clinic in the process of being approved, however, this tax will not affect them. Within state regulations of cannabis sales, cannabis for medicinal purposes is exempt from the taxes that are applied to cannabis for adult recreational usage.

Nearby cities of Farmersville and Woodlake have similar taxes already in place and active cannabis businesses in operation. Based on their revenues, City Manager Adam Ennis believes Exeter could potentially add up to a million dollars in revenue if the tax is enacted and cannabis businesses are approved.

“It’s difficult to estimate the possible revenue due to the complexity of determining the tax bases,” Finance Director Rainbow Moore said. “Most cities hire a consultant for that work and it would be premature for us to take that step before the vote.”

Enacting a cannabis business tax does not authorize specific cannabis businesses to open in Exeter. That would require a separate ordinance. If voters are in favor of the tax and the city council passes it, it will be in place to collect revenue from cannabis businesses if in the future such businesses are approved.

“It can’t hurt to put the vote out to the people,” Mayor Pro Tem Frankie Alves said during the July 12 meeting. “It would give us a decent understanding of how the community as a whole feels about the idea.”

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