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Before (and after) Election, California Cities Ban Prop 64

#Prop64. That’s a hashtag that’s gaining popularity as recreational marijuana is legalized in California. Municipalities across the state – the 6th-8th largest economy in the world- are banning Proposition 64.

It appears state bureaucrats have not done their homework, having failed to come up with regulation procedures on their own ahead of the legalization of marijuana. And now they want the industry to wait on them. I mean, maybe these council people themselves were enjoying some cool, California buds, but they could have seen marijuana legalization from a mile away. Somehow, they just didn’t.

Sonoma’s City Council voted Monday before the election to place a moratorium on outdoor cultivation of recreational cannabis, similar to regulations on medical marijuana gardens.

City Attorney Jeff Walter says the city needs to study Prop 64 in further detail.

“It will nip in the bud some of the initial cultivation activities we could not control if we don’t have something in place,” he said of the moratorium which can last between 45 days and two years.

Los Angeles County cities are taking similar actions, such as La Mirada and Redondo Beach.  Recreational marijuana passed in Los Angeles County by 58%.

Palo Alto in the Bay Area banned the outdoor cultivation of marijuana. In San Jose, the city council passed an ordinance to ban the growing, processing and selling of marijuana for commercial purposes.

Tim Cromartie, a lobbyist with the League of California Cities which has organized many of the moratoriums, said:

“The reaction of cities runs the gamut. This includes everything from allowing and robustly regulating such businesses, to banning them outright. Some jurisdictions have recently moved to ban outdoor commercial cultivation, due to public safety and nuisance concerns. Others are preparing ordinances to regulate and to tax commercial recreational marijuana businesses of various kinds.”

Placer County supervisors are allowing some rural medpot grows after what’s being described as an “emotional” Tuesday meeting.

“We’re a diverse county and we’re evolving into a type of ordinance that works for everyone,” Supervisor Jim Holmes said. “It’s going to take time. It might be messy. But being as conservative a county as we are, we’ll be careful about moving forward.”

A November 15 meeting of the Eureka City Council will impose a moratorium on recreational marijuana and issue a conditional use permit for medical cannabis dispensaries.

San Mateo and Burlingame adopted emergency moratoriums disallowing commercial operations.

“There’s a lot of unknowns any time a new initiative is passed,” said San Mateo Deputy Mayor David Lim. “We want to be careful, and take our time to really get it right.”

Prop 64, the regulation of recreational marijuana, passed in California Tuesday, and regulators and business professionals are racing to understand the frameworks they must adopt in order to operate above-board policies and business models. In the meantime, thousands will enjoy some of the dankest buds Planet Earth has to offer.

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