Encinitas goes to pot, other Prop 64 tales

Encinitas encourages commercial marijuana cultivation.

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

Encinitas leaders this month cleared the way for a commercial marijuana growing industry intended to cater to recreational marijuana users allowed to do their thing this January thanks to passage of Proposition 64 last fall.

Recreational marijuana is now the lay of the land. Starting in January, pot and it’s varied forms no longer will be exclusively the privilege of those with an easily obtained physician prescription, medical marijuana cards and $75.

Encinitas before…

While a few communities like La Mesa and Lemon Grove are moving forward with allowing medical marijuana, the city of San Diego is the first city in the county to allow recreational marijuana businesses, according to Kinsee Morlan of Voice of San Diego. The  San Diego City Council is still figuring out other aspects of regulating the industry, like whether it will allow cultivation, manufacturing and testing, she said.

Encinitas voters topped the county in support for Prop 64 with 65 percent approval. Encinitas also used to be the flower capital of the world with agriculture. Add it up, pot people, kis-to-the-met, serendipity, bingo, hoorah, Encinitas city council members voted 4-1 recently to allow commercial marijuana growing in their fair city.

And after?

Encinitas city council member Tasha Boerner Horvath said she conducted a survey of her own and 67 percent of those polled want a store front or delivery service of some kind for marijuana.


Why do it?

Mark Mervich of Fallbrook had something to say about the issue. He’s critical of San Diego County supervisors and their attitude toward recreational marijuana. As follows…

“A large majority of the Calif voter approved the legalization of recreational marijuana use and cultivation with Prop 64.

It appears that many of our local elected officials think it is their duty to protect us from our own wishes by continuing the prohibition. I am particularly appalled by the actions of the county supervisors who had a good proposal from their staff on how to handle the set up and structure of the commercialization of recreational marijuana and then voted to direct there staff to create a new plan which would continue prohibition.

There are many reasons to support legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana use.  Removing this drug from the illegal market through legalization would be a good step in reducing gang activities.

Legalization will allow for regulation of the industry. Marijuana use is much less of a medical and addiction problem than alcohol consumption. Marijuana works to treat many medical issues.

We, the taxpayers, pay for all the legal and crime prevention activity which keeps the prohibition in place. The possible revenue which could be generated by a proper tax structure on marijuana sales would help with some of our other issues.

We have the results from both Washington and Colorado to show that there are no catastrophic results from making marijuana readily available.  Let us proceed with a structure to make marijuana available, not continue the prohibition.

In a final note,  in this week’s San Diego Explained, NBC7 San Diego’s Monica Dean and Voice of San Diego’s Maya Srikrishnan look at how local communities are handling their pot policies now that cannabis is legal in California.

In this week’s San Diego Explained, NBC7 San Diego’s Monica Dean and Voice of San Diego’s Maya Srikrishnan look at how local communities are handling their pot policies now that cannabis is legal in California.

Prop 64 Effects On You

Who can use marijuana under prop 64 ?

Prop 64 legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults aged 21 years or older. Smoking was permitted in a private home or at a business licensed for on-site marijuana consumption. Smoking remains illegal while driving a vehicle, anywhere smoking tobacco is, and in all public places. Up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana are legal to possess. However, possession on the grounds of a school, day care center, or youth center while children are present remains illegal. An individual is permitted to grow up to six plants within a private home, as long as the area is locked and not visible from a public place.

Who can sell marijuana under prop 64 ?

To sell marijuana for recreational use, businesses need to acquire a state license Available 1/1/2018. Local governments can also require them to obtain a local license. Businesses are not be authorized to sell within 600 feet of a school, day care center, or youth center. The initiative also prevents licenses for large-scale marijuana businesses for five years in order to prevent “unlawful monopoly power.”

Who will regulate marijuana under prop 64?

The Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation was renamed the Bureau of Marijuana Control. It is responsible for regulating and licensing marijuana businesses.

Counties and municipalities have been empowered to restrict where marijuana businesses could be located. Local governments can also completely ban the sale of marijuana from their jurisdictions.

How will marijuana be taxed under prop 64?

Proposition 64 created two new taxes on marijuana. One is be a cultivation tax of $9.25 per ounce for flowers and $2.75 per ounce for leaves, with exceptions for certain medical marijuana sales and cultivation. The second is a 15 percent tax on the retail price of marijuana. Taxes will be adjusted for inflation starting in 2020,

Local governments have been authorized to levy taxes on marijuana as well.

Where will revenue be spent?

Revenue from the two taxes will be deposited in a new California Marijuana Tax Fund. First, the revenue will be used to cover costs of administrating and enforcing the measure. Next, it will be distributed to drug research, treatment, and enforcement, including:

  • $2 million per year to the UC San Diego Center for Medical Cannabis Research to study medical marijuana.
  • $10 million per year for 11 years for public California universities to research and evaluate the implementation and impact of Proposition 64. Researchers would make policy-change recommendations to
  • $3 million annually for five years to the Department of the California Highway Patrol for developing protocols to determine whether a vehicle driver is impaired due to marijuana consumption.
  • $10 million, increasing each year by $10 million until settling at $50 million in 2022, for grants to local health departments and community-based nonprofits supporting “job placement, mental health treatment, substance use disorder treatment, system navigation services, legal services to address barriers to reentry, and linkages to medical care for communities disproportionately affected by past federal and state drug policies.”

The remaining revenue will be distributed as follows:

  • 60 percent to youth programs, including drug education, prevention, and treatment.
  • 20 percent to prevent and alleviate environmental damage from illegal marijuana producers.
  • 20 percent to programs designed to reduce driving under the influence of marijuana and a grant program designed to reduce negative impacts on health or safety resulting from the proposition.

What will penalties be?

Individuals under age 18 convicted of marijuana use or possession are required to attend drug education or a counseling program and complete community service. Selling marijuana without a license is punishable by up to six months in a county jail, a fine up to $500, or both.

With Proposition 64’s approval, individuals serving criminal sentences for activities made legal under the measure are eligible for resentencing.

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