Indoor cannabis plants inside of a cultivation site licensed under Washington state's I-502 adult-use cannabis marketplace.

Sarah Climaco

Butte County, California Bans Adult-Use Cannabis Industry

The Butte County, California Board of Supervisors has temporarily banned commercial cannabis operations, despite the support of the majority of residents who attended the meeting and one supervisor pointing out that the county has fallen behind many others in the state in terms of tax revenues due to previous bans, according to a Chicoer report. The ban does not include medical cannabis deliveries to the county.

Among the supporters was Mike Lewis, a member of the Inland Cannabis Farmers’ Association, who suggested the board form a committee to write an ordinance for the industry to move forward, urging the board to take their “foot off the brake.”

“This is the beginning of the end of the black market,” Lewis told the board during his comments. “(There are) people who want this to be legitimate.”

However, Bonnie Masarik, speaking on behalf of opponents, raised concerns about the odor from farms and the use of pesticides, noting that Proposition 64 was only approved by voters in the county because of Chico – the most populous city in the county of 255,000. She warned of a “mass exodus” if the county allowed cannabis operations to commence.

Supervisor Maureen Kirk said she believed “delivery is a way of life in Butte County” and backed a plan for the supervisors to revisit the plan in six months after the board had an opportunity to see how other counties regulate the industry.

The board is expected to issue a report on the possibility of permitting the industry in May 2018.

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