Cannabis legalization has come to California, with the enthusiastic approval of voters. But stores, where adults can actually buy marijuana, have only come to parts of the state. Just one in seven cities in the Golden State allows recreational cannabis stores, according to a new study by The San Jose Mercury-News and its partners.
The legalization law in California allows local municipalities to opt out of allowing retail weed outlets. That means many towns and cities in more conservative areas of the state, especially the interior and eastern portions of the state, have decided not to allow them.
Fewer than one in three California cities—144 out of 482—permit any kind of cannabis business to operate. Only 18 of the state’s 58 counties allow marijuana businesses in unincorporated areas. And shockingly, fewer than one in five California cities even allow medical marijuana, which has been legal in the state for almost 22 years.
A whopping 57 percent of California voters approved legalization.
Proposition 64 was the 2016 ballot initiative legalizing cannabis in the state. Make no mistake about it: Prop 64 allows adults everywhere in California to legally carry up to an ounce of weed and to grow it at home. But it also gives cities and counties a say, resulting in a patchwork of regulations across the state.
While some towns such as Oakland and San Jose are cannabis-friendly, others are decidedly less on board with the “pot thing.” Some of them have banned virtually every kind of marijuana business. Some hidebound city councils have even passed local ordinances seemingly aimed at restricting personal use as much as possible.
State law says cities can’t completely ban adults from growing 6 plants at home.
But officials in two tiny towns in Northern California—Gridley, Butte County, and Montague, in Siskiyou County—did exactly that. They passed city ordinances banning cannabis cultivation, indoors or out. Other places have chosen to make it punishingly expensive to grow your own weed. Selma, in Fresno County, allows home growing, but charges $1,420 for a permit to grow the plants.
A couple dozen cities, including Moreno Valley and Davis, have decided to allow cannabis businesses, but haven’t yet developed regulations or permits for them. Marijuana businesses can’t even apply for a state license until local regulations are in place. That explains why 61 cities and nine counties have ordinances that allow recreational cannabis stores, but pot shops had only been licensed in 34 cities and five unincorporated county areas as of April 6.
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Steve Elliott on Herb
Published: April 30, 2018
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News