California Tax Department Auctions Off Illicit Cannabis Property

California Tax Department Auctions Off Illicit Cannabis Property

<![CDATA[In an effort to recoup lost revenues, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) auctioned off a commercial property March 23 that was seized in connection with illicit cannabis retail operations. The property, in Whittier, a city southeast of Los Angles, was part of an investigation into illegal cannabis sales, which uncovered that operators at the site owed more than $850,000 in unpaid taxes, according to a CDTFA news release.  The March 23 auction marked the second time this month that CDTFA officials used seized property to partially reclaim unpaid taxes from illicit cannabis sales. On March 2, the department sold a property in Compton for $256,000 in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. While CDTFA officials hoped the March 23 auction would provide $220,000 in revenue from the Whittier property, that sale exceeded expectations at $330,000, the Whittier Daily News reported. “Unlicensed cannabis operators not only undercut legitimate businesses, but they also cheat California communities out of revenue for vital programs,” CDTFA Director Nick Maduros said in the news release. “These businesses are not licensed under the laws approved by California voters, and many of their products are unregulated.” Taxable sales of cannabis, cannabis products and tangible personable property at licensed adult-use dispensaries netted nearly $1.3 billion in total tax revenue in 2021 in California. In part, that money is used to invest in cannabis equity programs and various local services, including transportation, police and fire departments, public safety and health, libraries, schools, social services, and natural resource management programs. While the Whittier and Compton auctions were geared toward combating illegal cannabis sales, California state Rep. Thurston Smith introduced a bill earlier this year that intends to combat illegal cannabis cultivation through classifying unlicensed operations as a felony. At the Whittier and Compton properties, consumers…

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Source : California Tax Department Auctions Off Illicit Cannabis Property

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