Come November 8th, the restrictive medical marijuana environment in Orange County might look entirely different. The Orange County residents are now preparing to vote on legalizing recreational marijuana and for the first time, the local city residents will decide whether medical marijuana businesses should be regulated and taxed.
The city-by-city push
The cash-strapped Placentia has already made its first move on recreational marijuana legalization, as its city council voted to not only allow the operation of its first licensed medical marijuana dispensary but also permit the commercial cultivation of cannabis.
Also, voters in Laguna Beach and Costa Mesa are considering initiatives that can double the number of cities that license the marijuana shops. While these efforts began with citizens, leaders in voters in Laguna Beach and Costa Mesa have seen the message on the wall and are looking to implement their competing plans on the ballot come November 8th.
In Garden Grove, there are ongoing workshops to get the public contribution on the idea of legalizing the marijuana business and recreational uses of cannabis.
The city proposals on the upcoming state vote on legalizing recreational marijuana in California are happening independently. Even if the voters decide that every over 21years Californian can use marijuana, each city in the state will still have the right to either allow or ban dispensaries, grow sites, delivery services and any other marijuana-related business in its borders.
These city-by-city efforts to establish clear marijuana rules seems to a response to the new regulations on medical cannabis that was signed by Governor Jerry Brown in October. This Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act is expected to take full effect in 2018, and it presents a system to license, tax, and regulate marijuana for the first time in 20 years since the medical use of marijuana was legalized in California.
Most people in the marijuana industry say that the state law is the reason local leaders are suddenly supporting the marijuana business. Also, Attorney Randall Longwith, who helped to qualify one of the Costa Mesa’s citizen initiatives, pointed out that there has been s shift over the past year on how leaders perceive medical marijuana.