California city plans mass production of medical marijuana

By Balzafire · Jul 22, 2010 · ·
  1. Balzafire
    LOS ANGELES — California city Oakland has approved draft legislation moving it a step closer to legalizing the large-scale production of medical marijuana, a city council clerk said on Wednesday.
    "The proposition passed the first reading at the city council by five yes, two nos and one abstention," said Crystal Bing, legislator recorder for the city clerk's office.

    "Now it has to go for a second reading which will happen on July 27th," she told AFP.

    If adopted, the measure would take effect on January 1, 2011 and would make Oakland -- across the bay from San Francisco -- the first US city to authorize large-scale production of marijuana, which is legal for medical use only in the town.

    Those arguing in favor of the measure cited the tax benefits it could bring to Oakland, which is struggling with public deficits along with the rest of California.

    They said other cities and regions were already moving forward with plans to allow factories to mass produce medical marijuana, which is used by sufferers to ease the symptoms of a range of ailments.

    "It's really important for Oakland to be a vital part of that growth and development for licensed facilities," council member Rebecca Kaplan was quoted as saying by the San Francisco Chronicle.

    The move is opposed however by some small-scale marijuana growers, who fear factory production of the drug will push them out of the market.
    The vote comes as Californians are set to vote in November on whether to completely legalize marijuana, which has been available to users with a doctor's prescription in the state for the last 14 years.

    The legislation being put to the vote in November would allow any person in the state over 21 to possess an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana and cultivate the drug for personal use in a plot no larger than two square meters.

    If California voters approve the law, the state would become the first to legalize the drug, which remains illegal at the federal level.

    (AFP) 07/21/2010

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  1. godztear
    I will seriously consider moving to California after the November ballots, depending on the outcome.
  2. Pondlife
    California city approves marijuana farming

    OAKLAND, California — The city of Oakland, California on Tuesday legalized large-scale marijuana cultivation for medical use and will issue up to four permits for "industrial" cultivation starting next year.

    The move by the San Francisco Bay Area city aims to bring medical marijuana cultivation into the open and allow the city to profit by taxing those who grow it.

    The resolution passed the city council easily after a nearly four-hour debate that pitted small-scale "garden" growers against advocates of a bigger, industrial system that would become a "Silicon Valley" of pot.

    "This is going to grow as an industry. And someone is going to have a high-tech producer," Council Member Jean Quan said during the debate.

    Oakland already taxes sales of medical marijuana, but cultivation has existed in a legal gray area. Council members plan later action to levy new taxes on growers.

    The city's decision is separate from a statewide ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use which Californians will vote on in November.

    Polls put support for the November state legalization measure at about 50 percent of voters, and if it passed, the state would be the first to broadly legalize its use. Many jurisdictions tolerate some personal use and small sales, but none allow major-scale growing, sales and recreational use.

    U.S. Federal law bans marijuana use of any sort but law enforcement authorities have turned a virtual blind eye to medical marijuana.

    Large-scale cultivation in California so far has been dominated by criminals who grow marijuana in national forests or complexes of grow houses, law enforcement officers say.

    The toughest opposition at the Tuesday city council meeting in Oakland came from the small-scale marijuana growers who feel they will be squeezed out of the market by the new 'agribusiness'. Outright opponents to marijuana use were silent.
  3. Balzafire
    And to think... Balz used to steal watermelons from the farmers when he was a kid. His grandkids will likely have access to large scale, high-quality medical grade marijuana producers...

    Maybe Balz can drive the truck or something. :laugh:
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