Though Measure A, a proposed Trinity County cannabis tax, looked like it was passing by almost 100 votes on Election Night, the final unofficial tally issued a week after the March 3 election now shows it being struck down by a tiny spread of just seven votes.
As a general tax, it needed to obtain 50 percent plus one vote for approval. With 1,815 mail-in and provisional ballots still to be counted,
Measure A was leading on Election Night with 1,529 ‘yes’ votes (51.7 percent) and 1,431 ‘no’ votes (48.3 percent). After the mail-in ballots were counted, the lead had narrowed to just 25 votes in an unofficial March 6 tally with some 50 provisional and conditional provisional ballots remaining to be counted.
The final unofficial March 11 tally includes those ballots and shifted the outcome for Measure A from passing to failing, though the final vote has not yet been certified and the Trinity County Elections Office was still conducting a manual recount of 1 percent of the ballots this week.
The March 11 totals are 2,384 ‘yes’ votes (49.9 percent) and 2,391 ‘no’ votes (50.1 percent). Measure A led in vote-by-mail ballots, but not at the polls or in mail ballot precincts.
The ballot measure was placed by proponent John Fenley acting on his own behalf and not as the District 5 county supervisor. It asked voters whether to establish a cannabis cultivation tax of $0.85 per square foot for 2,500 square feet or less of licensed outdoor/mixed canopy area and $1.45 per square foot for 2,501 square feet or greater; a gross proceeds tax of 7 percent on manufacturing of cultivated cannabis; and a gross proceeds tax of 7 percent on medicinal or legal cannabis storefronts and collectives.
Trinity County does not collect any cannabis taxes, and revenue from the Measure A tax would have been for general governmental purposes.