Su­pes to con­sider pot bal­lot mea­sure

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Front Page - By AL­LI­SON GATLIN Val­ley Press Staff Writer

BAKERSFIEL­D — The Kern County Board of Su­per­vi­sors on Tues­day will con­sider plac­ing a mea­sure be­fore county vot­ers that would al­low for med­i­cal mar­i­juana sales within the un­in­cor­po­rated ar­eas of the county, par­tially lift­ing the com­plete ban on com­mer­cial mar­i­juana ac­tiv­i­ties that has been in place since 2017.

The Board meet­ing be­gins at 2 p.m. at the county build­ing at 1115 Trux­ton Ave. in Bakersfiel­d.

The pro­posed bal­lot mea­sure would go be­fore vot­ers in the March 3, 2020 pri­mary elec­tion. It would re­quire a vote of 50% plus one vote to pass.

The re­tail busi­nesses would be lim­ited to med

ical mar­i­juana, sold to cus­tomers with a doc­tor’s au­tho­riza­tion, not the recre­ational use made le­gal in Cal­i­for­nia when vot­ers ap­proved Propo­si­tion 64 in 2016.

Busi­nesses would be re­quired to ob­tain a state li­cense, and may of­fer de­liv­ery.

The re­tail out­lets would be al­lowed only in ar­eas zoned for in­dus­trial uses, and would have to be at least 1,000 feet from schools, pub­lic parks, large fam­ily day­care cen­ters, youth cen­ters, li­braries, churches and other places of wor­ship and city lim­its.

In ad­di­tion, busi­nesses would be re­quired to be at least 350 feet from ex­ist­ing res­i­den­tial homes, ac­cord­ing to the staff re­port.

These med­i­cal mar­i­juana re­tail out­lets would also be re­quired to ob­tain a con­di­tional use per­mit from the county in or­der to op­er­ate. This per­mit process al­lows for a pub­lic hear­ing and looks at individual busi­nesses and con­di­tions.

The staff rec­om­men­da­tion calls for lim­it­ing ap­proval of these per­mits to three years, with busi­nesses re­quired to ap­ply for re­newal be­fore it ex­pires to al­low for a per­ma­nent ap­proval.

There would be no limit to the num­ber of per­mits the county could award.

The bal­lot mea­sure would also call for a busi­ness tax on these med­i­cal mar­i­juana stores of $35 per $1,000 in gross re­ceipts, essen­tially a 3.5% tax.

The rev­enues gen­er­ated from this tax would go to the Gen­eral Fund and would be al­lo­cated by the Board of Su­per­vi­sors dur­ing the an­nual bud­get process, ac­cord­ing to the staff re­port. There is no rec­om­men­da­tion to re­serve the tax rev­enues for a spe­cific use.

Although the Board ap­proved a com­plete ban on com­mer­cial mar­i­juana ac­tiv­i­ties in Oc­to­ber 2017, some es­tab­lished re­tail out­lets were al­lowed to con­tinue op­er­at­ing for a lim­ited time to al­low for an or­derly shut down of their busi­nesses. That dead­line passed in May.

How­ever, a num­ber of shops have con­tin­ued to op­er­ate be­yond that dead­line, and some have been sub­ject to law en­force­ment ac­tions since then.

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