Will San Joaquin County go to commercial pot?
The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors will make what could be the final call to allow commercial cannabis businesses to locate in areas outside the cities of Manteca, Lathrop, Ripon, Escalon, Stockton, Tracy, and Lodi when they meet Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 9 a.m. on the sixth floor of the county administrative building, 44 N. San Joaquin St. in Stockton.
Two recommendations are before the supervisors:
*Direct staff to make modification to existing ordinance and fees and submit them to the board for consideration. Once they are adopted the county administrator would be authorized to negotiate commercial cannabis development agreements.
*Direct staff to prepare an ordinance to present to the board to repeal Ordinance No. 4512 authorizing commercial cannabis and reinstate the prior ban.
The board on Aug. 7 adopted that ordinance establishing regulations for the commercial cultivation of marijuana unincorporated areas that included a clause it would not become effective unless a cannabis tax was approved by voters.
Voters did not give the tax measure the 66.6 percent margin it needed to pass in the Nov. 6 election.
Since the election eight individuals have contacted the county interested in operating commercial cannabis operations and to enter into development agreements with them.
County Counsel J. Mark Myles in a report to the board notes “in the absence of a tax, development agreements are the only vehicle available to ensure this industry pays for all of its direct and indirect costs associated with it” so such operations won’t burden county taxpayers.
The tax rejected by voters not only would have taxed commercial marijuana operation to cover county law enforcement and other government costs they create but would have also collected additional money to support other endeavors such as youth programs.
All cities within San Joaquin County have banned commercial cannabis operations.
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