The City Council approved the creation of a Cannabis Licensing Commission Wednesday to help oversee the coming legalized recreational marijuana industry.
The 11-0 vote directs the office of the city attorney to draft an ordinance on the creation of the commission, which would administer the cannabis license and public hearing process, including the application, renewal and revocation of licenses, as well as coordinate inspections and audits of marijuana businesses.
California voters in November approved Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana starting in 2018. Prop. 64 creates a dual system that requires operating licenses from both the city and state, and the creation of the commission is needed to have a framework to issue the licenses.
City voters on March 7 also approved Measure M, which gives the city tools to enforce its marijuana industry regulations, such as authorizing fines, criminal penalties or loss of power and water service for businesses operating without a license or ignoring city rules.
The measure also allows for gross-receipt taxes to be imposed on marijuana businesses, including the sale of general-use and medical cannabis, delivery services and manufacturing.
The new cannabis commission would consist of three members appointed by the mayor and two appointed by the City Council, and no commissioner can have worked as a registered lobbyist with the city for any cannabis-related activities for the 12 months prior to appointment.
— City News Service
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