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Millions in cannabis tax revenue aid COVID-19 relief


For millions across the country who are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, job loss and food insecurity remains an issue. 

In response to the local need for resources, The Monterey County Board of Supervisors voted and set aside about $6.9 million dollars in cannabis tax dollars to help aid emergency response programs including education, homelessness and keeping the community fed during the pandemic. 

A quarter million dollars of that tax revenue was recently given to the Monterey County Food Bank to aid in food distributions for those in need. 

"We still have folks that wonder where their next grocery money round is going to come from," says Board Chair, Chris Lopez.

"We were able to go to a partner like the Monterey County Food Bank and say alright if we turn this dollar over, how much can you leverage with that dollar, and that’s what they do best."

Lopez says one of the critical issues some governments face during the pandemic is having a lack of funds.

“It’s a relatively new fund, cannabis in California, it’s really only been around 5 years and I think we’ve been one of the most successful in terms of the ability to tax at a fair amount that keeps businesses going but also gives us the flexibility to make these investments," says Lopez.

Lopez says the county is prepared to tap into cannabis tax revenue for emergency funds in the future if it is needed.

More food distributions are still set to happen on the Central Coast.

To find out more about upcoming food distributions, visit:

Article Topic Follows: News

Jocelyn Ortega

Jocelyn Ortega is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.


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