San Diego Will Not Allow Legal Dispensaries to Operate in Unincorporated Areas
The idea to permit recreational cannabis product sales in unincorporated areas will not advance. One county supervisor made this proposal on Wednesday. However, when no other board members supported the plan, it did not move on.
Nathan Fletcher requested that the board approve zoning ordinances to permit the cultivation and retail sale of cannabis and related products. Commercial and industrial areas would have become part of a cannabis permitting program, and this program would have included a “social equity” component. Fletcher also suggested that they set up a tax system.
This motion died because there was no one else on the board who approved of it.
While recreational cannabis use was approved by California residents in 2016, the following year, San Diego County supervisors voted on a ban of all cannabusinesses’ operations in the county’s unincorporated areas.
Fletcher’s office claims that the five medical cannabis facilities operating in this area have been told they must close by 2022.
After lacking the support to move the proposal on, Fletcher went to Twitter, saying his proposal “would have allowed for the development of a cannabis industry that is safe, regulated, and legal.”
He also voiced some criticism of Supervisor Kristin Gaspar for pushing the other board members “on an outdated and out-of-touch view of legal cannabis.”
Fletcher believes that by denying his request to create a regulated market, there’s a high likelihood of more illegal shops, an increase in criminal activity, and a substantial loss of tax revenue for the county.
After the meeting, Gaspar commented on Fletcher’s proposal in a written statement, saying it “did not receive a second, which means he did not have the support of a single supervisor, but not surprisingly only mentions one by name.”
After hearing about Fletcher’s proposal, dozens of residents in the county reached out. The people supporting this proposal claim that it’s essential to allow people to legally purchase cannabis, primarily for medical reasons. They also claim that legalization is the socially responsible choice, especially for minority groups unfairly penalized for cannabis use in the past.
While this proposal, if approved, would have allowed the industry to move forward, we expect more progress to occur with California’s legal cannabis market.