Adopting a motion co-authored by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Janice Hahn, the Board voted to take initial steps to establish a comprehensive regulatory framework to coordinate with state law and prepare for the implementation of Proposition 64 next January.
Passed by voters this past November, Proposition 64 made it legal for individuals to use and grow cannabis for personal use. However, ordinances and statutes governing the sale and subsequent taxation of recreational marijuana will not go into effect until January 1, 2018.
Kuehl and Hahn’s motion asks the CEO and County Departments to identify best practices and prepare any necessary changes to current ordinances to minimize impacts on public health, safety, and quality of life and ensure a smooth transition from an illicit and unregulated market to a regulated market.
“This is a pioneering time for California and the County,” said Supervisor Kuehl. “We have an opportunity to take advantage of recent experiences in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado and adopt a regulatory system that will ensure the well-being of County residents as well as contribute to the growing expertise in dealing with the legalization of cannabis.”
The motion calls for the County to engage key stakeholders — community, business, public health experts, advocates — to:
- Obtain feedback on regulations and best practices
- Work with local cities to promote uniformity of regulations,
- Potentially develop an ordinance and ballot measure to tax commercial cannabis to cover costs incurred in regulating the new industry
- Initiate a robust data collection effort on cannabis use
“We need to build an entirely new framework, and we need to do it right,” said Supervisor Hahn. “That means taking into account the unique situations of all of our cities and unincorporated areas, prioritizing public health and safety, and balancing the interests of an emerging industry with the interests of our communities.”