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San Diego is First California City to Approve Adult-Use Scheme

San Diego, California’s city council unanimously voted to allow adult-use cannabis sales at the cities current 15 medical dispensaries once the voter-backed program is fully implemented, the San Diego Tribune reports. Officials also indicated they would consider regulations later this year that would permit commercial cannabis cultivation, testing, and distribution.

A “sunset clause” is included in the measure, which requires the council to vote whether or not to allow cultivation within nine months.

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The plan was met with resistance by the San Diego Police Department and members of the city staff who pushed for a ban on adult-use sales and related activities due to crime concerns. However, Councilwoman Barbara Bay said that the sector could be a boon to city tax coffers and the local economy, while allowing testing services would ensure that the products are safe.

“I believe it is our responsibility to implement the will of the voters,” she said in the report. “It’s also our duty to wisely and responsibly regulate every part of the supply chain in order to ensure that our consumers have a safe and vetted product.”

Three days after the passage of Proposition 64, the council passed a bill that adds a 5 percent local tax on the adult-use operations including farms, factories, and dispensaries. That tax will be pushed to 8 percent in July 2019.

According to the report, the Ocean Beach Planning Board estimated that San Diego’s revenues from the legal cannabis market could be as much as $30 million per year.

Additional rules regulating dispensary signage, and requiring businesses to keep the area around their shop clean of litter and remove graffiti within 24 hours are also included in the city council’s legislation.