Oakland Back to Drawing Board on Medi-pot

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Jodi Hernandez
    An Oakland pot dispensary could help the city fight California's budget woes.

    The Oakland City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday night on a  modified proposal that would allow five large marijuana-growing operations to operate within the city limits.

    The new proposal, drafted by City Councilwoman Desley Brooks and  City Council President Larry Reid, attempts to address legal concerns that  were raised in response to a previous proposal that would have permitted four  marijuana cultivation operations with no limits on their size.
     
    Brooks told Bay City News Tuesday that the new plan would limit marijuana farms to  50,000 square feet.
     
    She said it also allows cultivators to both cultivate and dispense  medical cannabis and requires cultivators to grow at least 70 percent of the  medical cannabis they dispense.
     
    The new proposal is more consistent with state law, Brooks said.
     
    One concern about a previous proposal that the City Council  scrapped late last year was that some of the pot from marijuana farms of  unlimited size would be sold for non-medical purposes.
     
    Another concern was that farms that would be stand-alone  businesses might violate medical marijuana laws, which call for marijuana to  be grown, bought and sold by collectives of patients and caregivers.
     
    Reid and Brooks said in a recent letter to their colleagues, "We  believe that these modifications will provide for a framework that will  address the concerns which have been broadly discussed."
     
    Brooks said she would be "pleasantly surprised" if the proposal is approved in its current form.

    "It's not perfect, but I would like to see what my colleagues may  have to say" about it, she said, adding that she wouldn't be surprised if the  proposal is amended either tonight or at a future meeting.
     
    "It's the beginning of a conversation -- not necessarily the end,"  she said.
     
    Brooks said she thinks there is a consensus on the City Council to  allow marijuana farms, but working out the details might require further  discussion.
     
    The council meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. at City  Hall, which is located at 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.
     

    Bay City News