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Ripon council opposes SJC pot measure

The City of Ripon is against Measure B.

That’s the one on the Nov. 6 ballot requiring two-thirds ‘yes’ votes for imposing a 3.5 to 8 percent tax on all commercial cannabis businesses in San Joaquin County.

Elected leaders were unanimous in passing a resolution against Measure B at their Oct. 9 meeting.

If passed, all types of medical and adult or recreational-use commercial businesses would be allowed in the unincorporated areas of San Joaquin County outside of cities, excluding outdoor cultivation and cannabis events.

If the tax fails, the current ban on medical and commercial cannabis businesses in the unincorporated areas of the county will remain in place, according to Supervisor Chuck Winn, a Ripon resident and former council member.

He was one of the dissenting votes not too long ago when the SJC Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 in support of the measure, with the promise of providing revenue – 30 percent the first year and increasing to 50 percent after five years – would go towards childhood programs.

Winn’s concern is that Measure B, if passed, would be cannabis or marijuana dispensaries having a chance to locate in those unincorporated areas next to cities such as Ripon, which prohibits such businesses.

He added that overseeing this measure would cost an estimated $8 million in services from various groups.

“The revenue to be generated based on the 20 applications received from various groups is approximately $2.3 million. The problem is that the proposed revenue never reaches its mark,” Winn said.

Added Ripon Mayor Mike Restuccia: “When you read about this tax, it says the money will help education. But in researching it, there’s not even enough funds generated.”

Winn, when asked by Vice Mayor Leo Zuber on the reason for the support of Measure B by the Board of Supervisors, said that unfortunately it was about the money.

“In looking at the measure, there’s always a hook. And the hook in place is education and children. If those ideas were not part of the measure, I don’t think would’ve passed,” he noted.

Ripon, Escalon and Lodi are among the cities that passed resolutions opposing the measure.

Ditto that for the local farm bureau, which also opposes Measure B.

To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail