Officials in Lynwood will allow legal pot grows under California’s new medical marijuana rules, making theirs the first city in Los Angeles County to do so.
The Lynwood City Council voted 3-2 Sept. 8 to license the cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis within city limits. The permits are also subject to other local and state regulations, officials said.
Specifically, the ordinance will “permit business activities related to the cultivation and manufacturing of medical cannabis subject to obtaining a permit with the city and satisfying all applicable local and state protection measures and rules,” officials said in a written summary.
Cannabis could help Lynwood out of financial crisis
Lynwood, a working-class community near South Los Angeles and Compton, is struggling financially and turning to cannabis as a possible solution, like a growing number of cities east and south of Los Angeles.
Under the ordinance, new growers may be able to sow a crop even before the first permits are approved in 2018, said Dale Gieringer, state coordinator for California NORML.
“Until state licenses are issued, people can legally operate under the old system as collectives or cooperatives, under the state attorney general’s guidelines,” he said.
Gieringer said NORML will push cities such as Lynwood to start approving permits before California enforces the medical marijuana rules signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last October. Those regulations were drafted to impose order on the state’s long-chaotic medical pot industry in advance of full legalization, which is expected in November.
A model for other communities to follow
Gieringer praised the City Council vote, saying it provides a model for other communities in Southern California.
“What they’re doing in Lynwood is quite sensible,” he said.
Commercial cannabis grows are banned everywhere else in Los Angeles County, including Los Angeles itself. City officials could soon change that, but the same is unlikely to happen soon in the rest of the county, especially in unincorporated areas governed by a long-conservative Board of Supervisors (the board will move sharply to the left after November).
Licenses will be granted to 5 businesses
The new Lynwood ordinance will allow five marijuana businesses to obtain licenses to grow the drug, said Aaron Herzberg, a local real estate lawyer. Those licenses would carry over to a recreational cannabis industry once voters legalize the drug, Herzberg said.
“All facilities approved for medical marijuana will be grandfathered in to allow for licensing under Proposition 64 . . . if it passes on Nov. 8, 2016,” his office said in a news release.
Prop. 64, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, would let adults 21 or older buy, possess, and use up to an ounce of pot on private property, and grow up to six plants at home. The law would also establish rules to govern a newly legal retail marijuana industry and would impose a special sales tax on the drug.
In addition to cultivation, the new ordinance will allow manufacturing, processing, and extraction of cannabis products, including highly profitable hash oil, LA Weekly reported after the City Council vote.
Leave a comment below: Will it become any easier for you to buy recreational weed after (if) voters legalize it in November, or will your town ban pot shops?