Kern County Supervisors unanimously voted to place a measure on the March 2020 ballot that would allow the retail sale of medicinal cannabis in unincorporated areas of the county.
Tuesday’s vote means there will be a county-backed measure and a second measure sponsored by a local cannabis organization on the March election ballot.
- The county’s measure would allow for the retail sale and or delivery of medical marijuana.
- Dispensary owners would be required to get a conditional use permit to operate from the county’s planning commission.
- No limit is placed on the number of conditional use permits which would remain in effect for three years.
- Dispensary owners would also be required to obtain a license from the state.
- Dispensaries would be restricted to industrial zones and could be no closer than 1,000 feet from schools, public parks, day care centers and churches.
- A business tax of 3.5% would be levied on gross receipts.
1st District Supervisor Mick Gleason seconded a motion to adopt the measure and put it to the voters.
“My interest in this is solely to provide a patient-focused effort to deliver some medicine to someone in need,” he said. “I’ve been sold on the fact that it is effective medicine for certain patients and I want to create in Kern County a place where these patients can go and get their medicine.”
The biggest issue for opponents of the county’s measure is to dilute the vote at least at the polls and send both measures to defeat.
“We want to be able to go to our local dispensary and get our medications and go about our lives, and you guys are making us suffer. Please, don’t split the vote!”
Supervisors also heard from a number of dispensary owners, who are in commercial zones, who’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on their dispensaries to comply with prior conditions set forth by the county, long before it banned all dispensaries in May.
They argue the county’s initiative gives them no preferential consideration for playing by the rules, if they apply for a conditional use permit.
Supervisor Leticia Perez was absent for Tuesday’s vote.