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CA: Merced County Supervisors Take First Look At Cannabis Policy Options

Katelyn Baker

Well-Known Member
The Merced County Board of Supervisors began discussion Tuesday that may lead to policy decisions on recreational and medicinal marijuana following the passage of Prop 64.

Supervisors heard a presentation from David McPherson from HdL Companies on current state and federal policies on marijuana and what the county's options are in terms of bans, regulations and taxes on recreational and medical cannabis. No action was taken.

The supervisors expressed both hesitation about the conflicting state and federal policies on marijuana and interest in learning more about possibly collecting revenue from the growing industry.

District 5 Supervisor Jerry O'Banion said, as long as the federal government is taking a hard stance against recreational marijuana, he doesn't see how the county can support broadening recreational use and uphold the federal laws.

"I'm certainly not going to tell you today I support this," he said, "But I'd be kind of crazy not to evaluate it."

Daron McDaniel, chairman of the board and District 3 supervisor, asked county CEO Jim Brown to set up meetings with mayors and city managers to discuss what policies cities are adopting and how that may affect the county.

"It's here right now, and we've got to get a hold on it," McDaniel said.

Sheriff Vern Warnke expressed his outright opposition to opening up the county's current policy, which allows 12 plants per parcel for medical marijuana card holders.

"I don't think for a minute that you can regulate this, put a nice beautiful tax on it and get revenue from it," Warnke told the board. "I don't know that any good can come from any of it. I want you to know that, as your sheriff, I don't want it, and I'll do everything I can to protect the ag industry against this."

Joe Scoto, president of the Merced County Farm Bureau, also told the supervisors he opposed allowing cultivation of marijuana in a way that resembles other crops.

In November, 51.48 percent of Merced County voters supported Prop 64.

The Merced City Council decided last year to allow four medical marijuana dispensaries within the city limits with the option of transitioning into recreational use later. However, the city has not yet begun accepting applications to operate dispensaries.


News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Merced County Supervisors Take First Look At Cannabis Policy Options
Author: Brianna Calix
Contact: (209) 722-1511
Photo Credit: None Found
Website: Merced Sun-Star
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