Just a couple of years ago, discussions of how to deal with marijuana
in the Inland Empire were limited. Now, several Inland jurisdictions
are considering opening up to marijuana businesses, an overdue
development given the failure of prohibition and the anticipated
availability of commercial sales of marijuana in 2018.
Late last month, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted to
move forward with plans to draft regulations for marijuana businesses
in the county's unincorporated areas. The move came after an ad-hoc
committee of Supervisors Kevin Jeffries and Chuck Washington concluded
that regulating and taxing marijuana "would enable the County to
better manage an already growing and uncontrolled industry," as
opposed to simply banning marijuana.
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California companies would be prohibited from selling marijuana
edibles made in the shape of a person, animal, insect or fruit under a
measure given final legislative approval Thursday and sent to the
governor for consideration.
"We are trying to protect children," said Assemblyman Rudy Salas
(D-Bakersfield), who authored AB 350.
Lawmakers said marijuana edibles have been made in the past to look
like gummy bears or miniature pineapples. In April, some middle school
students in San Diego got sick after a classmate sold them
marijuana-laced gummy bears.
The state plans to begin issuing licenses for the sale of recreational
marijuana to people 21 and older in January, so lawmakers have
introduced several bills aimed at preventing pot from being marketed
Singer Olivia Newton-John has used medicinal marijuana during her
battle with breast cancer and plans to promote the drug this week to
raise money for her wellness and research center.
"I will do what I can to encourage it. It's an important part of
treatment, and it should be available," Newton-John, who announced a
second battle with breast cancer in May, told News Corp. Australia.
"I use medicinal cannabis, which is really important for pain and
healing," she said. "It's a plant that has been maligned for so long,
and has so many abilities to heal."
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Ten bills aimed at regulating marijuana were shelved Friday by state
lawmakers, giving California's new Bureau of Cannabis Control time to
finish its own rules before lawmakers pile on with additional
The bills held by the Senate Appropriations Committee without comment
would have further regulated where pot can be used, how marijuana is
marketed, the trademarking of products and would have required the
state to produce a consumer guide.
The actions come as the state Bureau of Cannabis Control is preparing
to begin issuing licenses and regulations for the growth, transport
and sale of marijuana for medical and recreational use starting Jan.
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When it comes to buying pot for pleasure, Fresno won't be on the
Retail marijuana dispensaries and other businesses related to
recreational use of marijuana will be barred from setting up shop in
Fresno after the City Council voted 4-3 Thursday to prohibit such
Proposition 64, approved by California voters in November 2016,
legalized the possession and recreational use of marijuana. It also
legalized the sale of marijuana for recreational use starting Jan. 1,
2018 -- but gave cities and counties the authority to regulate or
prohibit commercial cannabis operations in their jurisdictions.
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The Inland Empire has its first licensed medical marijuana dispensary,
with Green America now open for business in Perris.
"This is the first time that patients will be able to purchase their
products from a permitted dispensary," said Mark Douglas, chief
executive of the nonprofit that runs Green America. "This is a
historic day not just for Green America Inc., but for the city of
Perris and all of the Inland Empire."
The move comes after more than 77 percent of Perris voters in November
approved Measure K, an initiative put on the ballot by the Perris City
Council to remove the city's ban on marijuana businesses. The measure
permits dispensaries in industrial and commercial zones, with strict
rules on record keeping, buffers from schools and more.
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Just months before shops can begin selling marijuana for recreational
use, state lawmakers on Thursday sent the governor a bill aimed at
preventing the drug from being marketed to minors.
The measure approved by the state Senate prohibits packaging and
labeling of marijuana products that show "pot edibles" such as cookies
and candy bars. The bill by Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Chico) also bars
packaging that mimics the name or packaging of non-marijuana candies,
snacks and drinks.
"Studies have shown the dangers that accidental marijuana ingestion
poses to young children," Nielsen said in a statement. "This measure
will prevent marijuana from being packaged to attract children."
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You can buy legal marijuana in four months. But is California ready to
With four months left until full legalization, the apparatus to
regulate commercial cannabis sales in California is being built on the
Up to 82 people must be hired. Software must be written to accept
applications of thousands of entrepreneurs hoping to legally sell
marijuana. Regulations governing sales aren't fully cooked.
Welcome to Lori Ajax's world. She is the director of the California
Bureau of Cannabis Control (formerly the Bureau of Medical Cannabis
Regulation aka BMCR or, colloquially, "Bummer"), having worked 22
years at the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
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REDDING, Calif. - Ryan O'Callaghan, who said he developed an addiction
to painkillers that helped him deal with injuries during his NFL
career, told USA TODAY Sports he now uses marijuana to treat the pain
and that the NFL should change its policy prohibiting players from
using the drug.
"For people like me, marijuana is a godsend because you don't want to
take these pills,'' said O'Callaghan, 33. "Marijuana is not addicting.
People who say that have never smoked it. I have an addictive
personality. It's not addictive.''
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Two former Kern County Sheriff's deputies avoided prison time Monday
for stealing and selling marijuana that was seized during drug busts.
Logan August and Derrick Penney were sentenced Monday to three years'
probation for the charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with
the intent to distribute marijuana, according to the U.S. attorney
office in Fresno.
August, a 30-year-old Bakersfield resident, was also ordered to serve
1,500 hours of community service and forfeit $16,500 earned in the
trafficking operation, federal authorities said.
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Time to redress the harm done to thousands of Black youth who have
life-limiting criminal records because of pot
The war on drugs has had a devastating and disproportionate effect on
racialized groups, particularly young Black men.
While research has shown that Black people partake in recreational pot
at the same rates as their white counterparts, it's Black people who
have endured the heavy hand of justice. Black people are twice as
likely to be taken to a police station after being charged for simple
possession of marijuana. They are also twice as likely to be held
overnight for a bail hearing.
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Los Angeles voters want to legalize marijuana, and they don't seem
particularly concerned that it remains illegal under federal law. In
November nearly two out of three voters in the city of L.A. supported
Proposition 64, a statewide initiative to let adults grow, buy and use
recreational marijuana. A few months later, voters overwhelmingly
backed Measure M to create a city permitting system for marijuana
City Hall has a clear mandate to legalize, regulate and tax pot.
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Riverside has long prohibited medical marijuana dispensaries. Now
officials may add recreational pot businesses to the ban -- at least
Since November, when California voters legalized adult use of
marijuana, the Riverside City Council has not decided whether to
allow, tax and regulate pot cultivation, manufacturing and sales.
On Tuesday, July 25, council members will consider saying no to pot
businesses until they have more information on how state regulations
will look and what other Inland and Southern California communities
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If there was any doubt that Sacramento was square in the path of
California's "green rush," a recent tally showing the city could end
up with more marijuana growing operations than it has Starbucks and
McDonald's restaurants should serve as a wake-up call.
More than 100 companies have applied to open grow rooms, The Bee's
Ryan Lillis reported last week, and most are for industrial sites in
already troubled, low-income neighborhoods in North Sacramento and off
Power Inn Road.
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San Jacinto has set permit fees for those who wish to operate commercial
marijuana businesses in the city.
Anyone wanting a permit to operate a commercial marijuana cultivation
business in San Jacinto better have some cash.
The City Council set the permit fee at $16,500 during its meeting
Tuesday, July 18. Annual permit renewals will cost $6,000 and there
also will be a $10,000 fee to transfer a permit.
The money covers the cost of staff time required to review and process
the applications, according to the city.
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San Francisco Supervisor Jeff Sheehy sponsored legislation to create
the city's Office of Cannabis.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday created a new
"one-stop shop" to handle policies for marijuana businesses once
recreational cannabis becomes legal.
Supervisor Jeff Sheehy sponsored the ordinance to set up the Office of
Cannabis, which will open for business by the end of this year. It
will set up an application system for marijuana licenses, resolve
complaints, be a conduit to state regulators, and serve as a
centralized information source for the public.
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California hopes to avoid the same shortage of legalized marijuana
that now faces Nevada when sales begin here in January. (File photo |
Los Angeles Times)
With Nevada suffering a shortage of legalized marijuana, California's
state pot czar said Wednesday that efforts are being made in her state
to make sure sufficient licenses go to farmers, testers and
distributors to supply retailers.
Providing temporary, four-month licenses to support some businesses
including growers as early as November is planned "so we don't have a
break in the supply chain," Lori Ajax, chief of the Bureau of Medical
Cannabis Regulation, said in testimony at a legislative hearing.
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California's county fairs -- those wholesome showcases of agricultural
bounty -- could become places to score some pot.
Gov. Jerry Brown last week signed a bill that details how to carry out
the November 2016 ballot measure that legalizes recreational marijuana
as of January 2018. Tucked deep in the text is an option for county
fairs to allow sampling and sales for people 21 and older in
The Stanislaus County Fair has had "minor discussions" among the board
and Chief Executive Officer Matt Cranford about the issue, spokeswoman
Adrenna Alkhas said by email.
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More marijuana growers than Starbucks stores? That could be
Someday soon, more businesses could grow marijuana in the city of
Sacramento than there are Starbucks and McDonald's restaurants combined.
More than 100 businesses are seeking special permits from the city to
run indoor marijuana growing operations. From North Sacramento to
South Land Park, and from downtown to the warehouse district near
Power Inn Road, the flood of applications touches many corners of the
For now, the applications technically cover marijuana for medicinal
purposes, and some companies are already growing pot for that purpose
under previously approved guidelines. However, commercial production
and the sale of recreational pot will be allowed in California
beginning Jan. 1, 2018 and city officials expect many of the new
businesses will seek to enter that business.
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Just when I thought Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld couldn't
appear more ignorant and stupid, he proves me wrong with his
half-page, anti-marijuana diatribe in Sunday's Bee.
It's full of nonsense, half-truths and other easily contested points
in support of his argument to try and buffer his moral crusade against
the evil weed. Sorry, I underestimated Mr. Bredefeld.
Steve Schmale, Fresno