Cambridge drops impact fees for cannabis retailers
The Cambridge City Council voted unanimously on a policy order to lower the impact fee contained within host agreements with cannabis businesses from 3% of gross revenue to only 0.05%. This decision comes shortly before the first adult-use cannabis businesses are set to open in Cambridge. Councillors lowered the fee to help economic empowerment and social equity applicants recoup some of the years worth of costs absorbed during the licensing process. Negative financial impacts to the city as a result of cannabis businesses have also not materialized.
The order references the city of Northampton which eliminated their impact fees in January. The order anticipates that removing the fees will not have any appreciable impacts upon the community or add significant additional costs to the City. The City Manager is requested to establish comprehensive data on the emerging cannabis industry and look into legal questions such as exempting EE and SE applicants from impact fees altogether, or to charge them proportionally less than other applicants, as a matter of equity.