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Oakland measure seeks city stake in cannabis clubs

Posted on September 22nd, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

OaklandWith California preparing to vote on a marijuana legalization initiative in November,  the city of Oakland is seeking not only tax revenues but a direct cut of profits from local cannabis business. A measure introduced in the City Council would require any new Oakland cannabis company to make the city government a 25% partner. Companies that don't cut Oakland in would not get a permit and therefore not be allowed to operate under local law—or state law, which mandates compliance with municipal ordinances.

The proposal builds on Oakland's Equity Permit Program, which prioritizes cannabis convicts and areas with high marijuana arrest rates for new canna-business permits—an effort to address the racist legacy of marijuana prohibition and the War on Drugs. The same councilmember who pushed last year's "Equity Amendment," Desley Brooks, is pushing the new measure as a means to augment the strapped city's budget and fund social programs.

But state Assemblyman Rob Bonta raised conflcit-of-interest concerns to the San Francisco Chronicle: "If the city is an owner, it's also a regulator. So it's regulating itself." East Bay Express weekly's Legalization Nation blog, which has closely followed the development of Oakland's cannabis industry, warns that the proposal "might run afoul of several laws—such as state medical-pot regulations that ban an entity from owning multiple cannabis licenses."

The bill will be discussed next week in the City Council's Public Safety Committee.

Cross-post to High Times

Photo: Calwest

 

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