Riverside Supes Give In On Pot
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, or so the saying goes.
The Riverside County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday directed the Office of County Counsel and other agencies to draft an ordinance that will create a permitting process for the sale and commercial cultivation of marijuana in Riverside County's unincorporated communities.
"We have lost the war on cannabis in Riverside County," Supervisor Kevin Jeffries said. "You knock one dispensary down, and another pops up. We need to develop a comprehensive licensing and taxation package. It's a complicated issue. Somewhat emotional. But with the appropriate regulations, marijuana businesses will be less impactful than they are today."
The board voted 3-0 -- with Supervisor John Tavaglione absent and Supervisor Marion Ashley abstaining -- to follow the recommendations of the Cannabis Ad-Hoc Committee and begin ironing out provisions for marijuana sales transactions and farming, all of which would be taxed.
There was a palpable lack of enthusiasm on the part of the Board. The new effort was portrayed almost as a necessary evil to protect the public since the opposition to cannabis “appears to be a battle that we are not winning,” in the words of Chuck Washington.
The county will hammer out details over the next few months, including where the dispensaries will be allowed. A local marijuana tax measure is also slated for the November ballot and it must be approved by voters in order for this plan to go through.