Cannabis regulations threaten to limit town control
In mid-July the Bureau of Cannabis Control released a draft of permanent regulations for California’s cannabis industry which could replace the emergency rules that have governed the industry since November 2017.
While most of the proposed regulations are revisions of the current law, Truckee town council members and staff are concerned that they will limit the ability of local towns to govern themselves.
“We think this is a gradual chipping away of the town’s ability to determine how we want to regulate cannabis,” said Planning Manager Jenna Gatto.
Proposition 64 granted local governments the ability to allow cannabis and come up with methods, if any, to regulate how these businesses could operate in town limits. Under the Bureau of Cannabis Control’s new regulations, cannabis deliveries would be authorized in any jurisdiction in the state, taking away a town’s ability to allow or prohibit these types of businesses.
The regulations would also reduce the amount of time towns have to authorize a local license from 60 days to 10 days. If the town does not respond within those 10 days the bureau will consider the authorization valid and the business will be granted a state license without a local license. According to a staff report it is still unclear what pathways the town would take if this happened.
“This was a public vote and now the state committee wants to override a public vote,” said Mayor Carolyn Wallace Dee. “I think we should be very concerned.”
“I’m concerned with states taking away ability of local towns to govern themselves,” said Council Member Patrick Flora.
The release of the new regulations in July marked the start of a 45-day comment period and ends Aug. 27. During this time state agencies overseeing legalized cannabis will consider public input and possible modifications before making a final decision.
At Tuesday’s council meeting, council members voted to submit a comment letter to the Bureau of Cannabis Control regarding their concerns.
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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