Mississippi Measure 48 is a proposed constitutional amendment, posted at http://www.mississippiforcannabis.org/ . I have a question about its "locality tax," licenses, and fees. Answers and further discussion will be edited into this post.
" ...Regulations will require an annual Mississippi Cannabis Sales license issued by any Mississippi County Circuit Clerk for a fee of no more than $1000.00 to all adult residents who apply, and a $25.00 annual city or county governing locality fee to farm 10 - 500 plants. Locality fees for cannabis farms with more than 500 plants will not exceed $1000.00...."
At first this "locality fee" sounded like a flat yearly fee, but the last sentence above makes it clear that is wrong. Is it $25 per plant? If so, it should say "per plant" after "$25."
But it couldn't be $25 per plant, because 500 plants times $25 is $12,500. 501 plants, however, would only be $1000. A fee of $25 plus $5 per plant would still be $2,525 for $500 plants. The locality fee part makes no mathematical sense.
@msforcannabis replied: "The fee is only for 10 or more plants and is $25 / plant not to exceed $1000. Tax statement is correct"
@AnRycke replies: And yet it says, "Locality fees for cannabis farms with 500 plants will not exceed $1000," clearly not including farms with less than 500 plants in the $1000 limit. Remember, you won't get to interpret this when it goes to court; a judge will, and a judge will go by the words, not your intent.
You might rethink making this a constitutional amendment. A statute can be more detailed and is far easier for the legislature to fix.
In my opinion, the Mississippi Cannabis Sales license should be one-time, and the locality fee should be a lot lower and not plant-based. What other kind of farms anywhere are charged a per-plant tax? Who will count the plants? At what size or level of maturity?
"...Owners of 9 or fewer cannabis plants are not considered farmers and are not required to pay a farming locality fee..."
Is one required to pay the $1000 for the annual Mississippi Cannabis Sales license for growing 1-9 plants even if one is not selling? It sure looks like it, which would make cannabis growing a privilege of the rich in Mississippi. The only requirement for selling regarding the license is in the title of the license.
"...The 7% cannabis sales tax, and the farming locality fees may be reviewed in 2025 and every 5 years thereafter. The cannabis sales tax can only be lowered; farming locality fees may be adjusted but only by 10%...."
This sounds like the locality fees can be adjusted 10% up or down, but there is no allowance for review or adjustment for the annual $1000 Mississippi Cannabis Sales license.
Please clarify your measure before collecting signatures on it.