City schedules open discussion on pot regulations

How should the city approach the new pending marijuana regulations?

by Paul Peterson- Pat 1 of 2

The city of Ventura has just announced it will host a community meeting for all Venturans to offer input as to how the city should approach the new pending marijuana regulations. The meeting will be held Thursday, September 28th at 6pm in the Community Meeting Room at City Hall, 501 Poli Street. The public will be asked to weigh in on issues such as marijuana store fronts, delivery services, cultivation, taxes, zoning and other related issues. The input will then be given to the city council at another public meeting on October 9th, also at 6pm in council chambers. Those who can’t attend are encouraged to email their input to jlambert@cityofventura.ca.gov. This is a real opportunity for the people to speak out on this subject.

On January 1st, 2018 marijuana becomes legal to consume and cultivate for Californians over age 21. The supporting cannabis industry has been gearing up for legalization with a series of pot industry conventions and confabs throughout Southern California. The level of business acumen and innovation is surprising. More details on these gatherings along with input from the September 28 meeting will follow in a second installment for The Breeze.

Recent polls have shown national support for medical marijuana now tops 90% while support for legalization for all is now over 60%. It seems to be the will of the people. Ventura has remained on the sidelines so far as to whether the new law will be approached as a problem or an opportunity.

There has been enormous financial success for Colorado since enacting their law. Gross sales will surpass one and a half billion dollars this year resulting in tax revenues of over 116 million dollars for Coloradoans. California’s gross sales are expected to top 8 billion in a few short years.

How Ventura will fare in this coming tax and licensing windfall lies in the policies developed going forward.

It should be noted that at all the aforementioned cannabis confabs, optimism is very high and opportunities for starting new businesses were everywhere. Many women were seen as leading entrepreneurs in these new businesses, especially in food infusion and minorities seek to be equally represented as shop owners and distributors. There seems to be new opportunities for many.

January is right around the corner and Ventura’s opportunity to take advantage of a whole new industry is on the line. It appears to be the biggest new revenue source in decades for city coffers. Opposing progress might be akin to being the last dry town in a wet state, to use a prohibition example. Illustrating this, the town of Milliken, Colorado is now approving pot shop licenses to two new businesses because the nearby town of Garden City now credits pot taxes and license fees for bringing in half of their $1.3 million dollar budget. Imagine doubling a city’s income and being able to fund new projects and complete existing ones. That may be the opportunity before our city council. Citizens have a chance to express responsible views at the upcoming events September 28 and again October 9th. City funding and jobs are at stake.

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