Pending State Bill Would Preempt Local Cannabis Bans

As state Sen. Scott Weiner works to preempt local zoning laws to ease the way for more housing construction, Assemblyman Phil Ting—a fellow Bay Area Democrat—is trying to do something similar for the pot industry.

If Ting’s AB 1356 passes, it would force cities to allow one cannabis retail permit for every four liquor licenses. That is, only if more than half of the electorate in a jurisdiction voted for Prop. 64’s adult-use legalization in 2016.

For cities that already allow recreational sales, like San Jose, it won’t make much of a difference. But jurisdictions whose elected officials have banned cannabis sales despite majority support from residents—basically every other city in the South Bay, including Santa Clara County’s unincorporated areas—are in for a ride.

“Californians voted for Prop. 64 to replace the illicit market with a legal system that would grant Californians safe access to cannabis products, while also creating good jobs and significant tax revenue,” Ting said in announcing his bill. “However, these goals can only be fully realized if enough licenses are granted to meet existing demand. This bill will ensure the legal market can succeed.”

The Silicon Valley Cannabis Alliance, an industry advocacy group founded by veteran lobbyist Sean Kali-Rai, enthusiastically signed on to Ting’s bill.

In a letter to Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell)—who chairs the Assembly Business and Professions Committee that’s weighing the bill today—the cannabis alliance urged him to support the legislation.

Despite California’s overwhelming support for Prop. 64, Kali-Rai wrote, some 76 percent of local governments throughout the state have banned pot sales. Despite projections that the voter initiative would allow 6,000 pot businesses to open up in the first few years after adult-use legalization, just 10 percent of that number obtained licenses.

“This is unacceptable,” Kali-Rai continued. “California has the opportunity to be on the forefront of cannabis legalization, and instead, local bans have prevented us from expanding access to patients who need it while depriving us of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue that could be generated from legal cannabis retailers.”

18 Comments

  1. I never understood how municipalities were able to ban cannabis businesses even they are legal in the state. Plus, with alcohol being a much harder drug, how come they get all business licenses they want, but not the much milder cannabis?

    Lots of folks are still reeling scared by ‘reefer madness’. They need to get with the times and realize that cannabis is not the demon their Sunday school nuns told them it was. Next think you know, they’ll be spouting off about scientists scheming on a global scale about the climate. Oh, wait…

    • > Next think you know, they’ll be spouting off about scientists scheming on a global scale about the climate. Oh, wait…

      SCCRezzy:

      Sarcasm doesn’t work very well to make a stupid idea sound smart because it is believed by smart people.

      It just makes the smart people sound stupid.

    • SCC, it is for people like you our youths are using Marijuana with no worries. This, until they end up in Juvenile Hall. The harmful effects of alcohol are well documented even our youths know that. No one is saying that alcohol is good and Marijuana a demon. They are all harmful substances including tabacco. In any given day being by radio or television or any other media outlet, we and our youths hear of the harmful effects of Alcohol and tabacco. On the pot, we only hear idiots saying is so mild. Please educate us, post the research here supporting the non-harmful effects of Marijuana. Then, we will believe you!

  2. SHAME ON PHIL TING AND HIS SB (better B…S…) bill. Everyone first politicians to write on your book. ELECTION DAY, we must vote him out. The thought of safe access to pot is a fantasy created on a $ framework, pretence. Our youth’s health and future are being destroyed by these politicians with Zero compassion and lack of care for our communities well being. Now, this A$$…is basically proposing for our youths to have more access to pot locations than to local libraries.

  3. SCCrazyResident ,
    Long-term harmful effects of the current crop of hard core cannabis is just becoming apparent. “Reefer Madness”
    filmed back in the 40’s if I recall was dealing with a product with a fraction of todays THC drug in pot.
    Back in the mid 60’s one of the kids in my neighbor hood, (we used to play softball on the lot next to his house) murdered an old woman for money to buy pot. Another screwed up on LSD after pot just wasn’t fun anymore, was hauled off to a drug rehab after his parents found him hiding in his closet. You of course must be old enough to have herd of Sinanon , ( not sure if that’s the way its spelled). I had half a dozen friends joined him before I graduated High
    School.

    When I was in Europe hash and alcohol were the drugs of choice, I watched my friend smoke that crap, they would laugh so hard, I guess I was the joke I wasn’t smoking that stuff. I noticed they all started to forget things they had just done. This drug was effecting their memory. Oh the reason I was there was to replace the one that committed suicide by breaking into a substation and grabbing 2- 4100 volt power lines.

    Pot, LSD, cocaine, alcohol and heroin, Turn on, tune in, drop out, and die, a couple of others friends made the short trip to the OD graveyard before they were 25. One ex-Marine I knew was found in a SC restaurant toilet stall with his pants down around his ankles and a needle stuck in his thigh. He kept telling me he just had a little pot problem he could handle it, he was going to quite as soon as he got his next job. He couldn’t hold a job.

    I’ve know plenty people over the years that only smoked pot a little bit, but there many more that went on to bigger and better stuff. I’ve known two men that have used every drug they could get there hands on and then went strait, but that was only two, and I consider both to be a bit more than nuts. Another two sons of co-worker were murdered trying to buy something. One at BART station the other getting out of a car going to a party. Both had just finished High School,
    They were smart and young and invincible, and DEAD!

    So be real cute SCCR, you have that oh so smart attitude and smugness that will get you there.
    Make my day!

    • Nobody has ever died of overdosing on cannabis, it’s physically impossible, unlike alcohol.
      There’s no real proof that cannabis is any kind of ‘gateway’ drug. That’s up to the person’s individual circumstance.
      If it’s legal, it’s safer because it can be controlled. Look back to prohibition in the ’20s (you may even remember firsthand) or Mexico today, to see the problems making things illegal can cause.

      Sorry to hear about your friends and schoolmates back in the day. Good thing you were too ‘smart’ to get into any of that.

      • > Nobody has ever died of overdosing on cannabis, it’s physically impossible, unlike alcohol.

        Great sounds safe to me.

        Let’s give it out to kiddies in daycare centers along with their chocolate milk.

      • You appear to contradict yourself: “If it’s legal, its safer because it can be controlled.” Our youths end up at the ER for Alcohol intoxication. Alcohol is legal; who is controlling it? Show us the research to support your non-sense money oriented claims.

  4. I see on opportunity for some real social progress here.

    Instead of giving kids ritalin in the public schools in order to achieve appropriate behavior control, why not avoid unnecessary disruption to their delicate little psyches and start them off on marijuana.

    After all, marijuana is safe, except for the risks to pregnant women. But kids shouldn’t be getting pregnant in school anyway. Maybe give the kids a cocktail of cannabis and birth control pills.

    One of the benefits will be that kids won’t have to transition from ritalin to pot after they leave school, but the pot induced calming, anesthesia, and social control will seamlessly carry over into so-called “adulthood”.

    Plus, the pot will be readily available from government-licensed pot dealers, and the government won’t have to endure price gouging from the giant corporate pharmaceutical companies.

    I probably deserve a MacArthur Genius Grant for this.

    • Better than medication is Behavior therapy! Youths think about the health of your neurotransmitters and SAY no TO Marijuanna, alcohol, Xanax, Narcos, acids, meth, cocaine…They ARE ALL HARMFUL FOR YOUR HEART, BRAIN, and YOUR SOULS. Go out, socialize face to face not facebook, exercise, volunteer…LOVE YOURSELVES!

  5. CANNABIS is legal in California … Get over it folks! It is the law and you need to come out from the dark and get with the program — Or get out of California, it has been legal in several other states and they are still standing and their “Kids” are still surviving. And, there are more states about to legalize it too, so you might be moving a lot and often … Besides, raising your children is YOUR responsibility and teaching them right from wrong is YOUR responsibility. Are you afraid you are a failure at YOUR JOB? Shame on you — go fix your own problems — yourself. It is not a statewide, nor citywide problem. You had them, you handle them.

    POT is legal and having City government ignorantly ban the legal sale of pot is plain old stupid … and it is downright shameful that a law has to be passed to fix STUPID. The only voting that should be done is vote out the idiots that are ignoring the will of the voters … otherwise all these ignorant, bad parents, go fix your rotten bad kids and stop trampling the will of the voters — besides, if your kid is a drunk, does everyone in California need to stop drinking too because your kid is out of control and you can’t handle your offspring?

    • And yet you would be somehow be OK with city’s writing their our gun laws, free speech, and abortion regulations that all seem to be guaranteed by the constitution these days. Your kids are all wards of the state until they kill someone then it’s your fault. Lets put that in perspective does everyone in California need to give up their guns and rights because some illegal alien shoots a citizen with a gun stolen from a cop?

      Isn’t that special?

    • Disinformed SC voter, I am not a failure to my job. The state just does not have enough beds for all the youths in need of treatment. I am typically only able to placed 10% of referrals. This is for all California state kids. Each bed costs in average $10, 000 per month for each kid. Kids start this Maijuanna addiction as early as 8 years old, the average client is 12-17. DO YOUR RESEARCH! My kids have no addiction but others’ kids do. “It takes a village to raise a child,” and I am part of that village! Thank God, a significant portion of these kids eventually learn to be “clean,” their language.

      • > Each bed costs in average $10, 000 per month for each kid.

        WHAT!!!!!!

        For criminy sakes! Why not just send the kids to Harvard!

        For $10,000 per month, the kids will get a college degree AND Harvard will throw in the bed for free.

        • Exactly Bubble, this is how much it costs the state to rehabilitate these kids. A good portion of these youths were introduce to Marijuanna by girls’ adult “boyfriends.” This is why we should spend more money on educational and vocational opportunities for youths. Prevention is cheaper than treatment. These youths want to have jobs, homes, a”normal” life. They are all worthed. This Marijuanna industry is a threat for our youth and the communities. SHAME ON ALL POLITICIANS ADVOCATING FOR THIS INDUSTRIES. Write their names and vote them out on ELECTION DAY!

    • > CANNABIS is legal in California … Get over it folks!

      Stupidity is also legal.

      “Democracy” is government by the stupidest, most easily manipulated fifty-one percent.

      Athenian “democrats” poisoned Socrates and forced him to drink hemlock because he wasn’t politically correct.

      Which is why the U.S.A. is a constitutional republic and NOT a democracy.

  6. SCCrazyer,
    I just told you about people dying, forgot didn’t you? Just like alcohol you end up doing stupid things and the someone ends up dead. Then there are the wonderful side affects paranoia, panic, redeye, car crashes and my favorite psychosis, of which you are displaying. Then the men in white lab coats will give you something to take your mind away.

  7. “For cities that already allow recreational sales, like San Jose, it won’t make much of a difference.”

    San Jose currently has 16 registered storefronts. There is no ability for a new storefront to open (legally). There are at least 200 liquor stores. Probably closer to 400. That would be 50-100 dispensaries in San Jose. They would have to change the zoning requirements to even make room.

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