Calaveras’s smart marijuana tax move?

On Election Day, Calaveras County, California, reportedly repealed its weight-based tax on marijuana and replaced it with a square footage tax.

Now inferior jurisdictions’ taxes on production make no sense if the consumption level is the wellspring of any negative externalities (DUI, kids) that might justify taxation, so that taxing production would only drive production to lower-tax jurisdictions, competing for industry.  (So states tax cigarette consumption by the pound, but place no special taxes on growing or manufacture, excise or otherwise.)

But for production, some say there is a negative externality, odor, which is so difficult to measure that proxy taxes are necessary.  Doesn’t Calvaras’s shift from weight-based tax to area create a better proxy for smell?


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