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San Bernardino, Measure “O” cannabis operators settle long-standing lawsuits

Two licensees will pay the city more than $1.9 million in back cannabis sales taxes between them

The San Bernardino Sun..

San Bernardino and two cannabis business owners who received permits to operate in town under a controversial 2016 ballot measure have settled extensive and protracted lawsuits.

Per a pair of settlement agreements approved by the City Council Wednesday, Sept. 15, Thomas Bamber, who owns Shatter Dispensary and Lounge on Fifth Street, and Qiang Ye, owner of Captain Jacks Dispensary on Hospitality Lane, will pay the city more than $1.9 million in back cannabis sales taxes between them.

Additionally, the two will withdraw a 2022 ballot initiative they sponsored that proposed reducing the city’s utility user tax from 7.75% to 3%. The measure, if approved, would have sapped $14 million in revenue from the city’s general fund each year.

In return, San Bernardino will issue Bamber and Ye the cannabis business permits required of all those currently operating, or hoping to operate, locally.

Lastly, city officials will inspect both operators’ facilities within 60 days to ensure compliance, and there will be no on-site consumption of cannabis or sale or use of alcohol without all necessary approvals.

Councilman Juan Figueroa was absent from the vote Wednesday.

Five years ago, San Bernardino voters approved Measure O, a citizen-backed initiative that regulated commercial cannabis businesses in town. While Bamber and Ye received permits to operate under those guidelines, the validity of the ballot measure was challenged in court.

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San Bernardino, Measure O cannabis operators settle long-standing lawsuits

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