Here’s a quote from the California Blue Ribbon Commission Report, in a section called “Tax Bases Over Time”:
“The Commission emphasizes the view that legalization is a process that will take time, not a one-time fix with all rules in place from the beginning and static in perpetuity. The state may benefit from implementing tax rules in phases or steps. Steps in the process may reflect and co-exist with an evolving and maturing marketplace. For instance, a low square footage tax or fee could be imposed at the outset of legal production. Shortly thereafter, the very first commercial sales might well bear a modest ad valorem excise tax. But the state could decide initially to delay imposition of weight-based or potency-based taxes for some period of time. There are two reasons to delay or phase in these taxes: first, to give the legal market time to compete with the illicit market, and second, to give the Board of Equalization time to create the rules and structure to collect the tax.”
The RAND Report for Vermont points out that a square footage or canopy tax would “requir[e] decisions about exactly what square footage to count” — like empty spaces between rows. My own thinking now is that you count what’s easily measurable from the air. Anything under a measurable, constructed canopy would count.