CA: Santa Cruz County Supervisors Adopt Moratorium On Nonmedical Cannabis


Santa Cruz – Santa Cruz County supervisors on Tuesday unanimously adopted a 45-day moratorium on nonmedical cannabis activities, a week after California voters said they wanted a state system to regulate adult use of nonmedical marijuana.

Some local cannabis industry representatives favored a go slow approach, but all of them had questions about the county tax collectors email saying cannabis taxes are due at the end of November.

Jason Heath, chief assistant county counsel, presented the urgency ordinance, saying cannabis is very tricky to regulate because there are many stakeholders with different opinions.

We need a little bit more time, said Supervisor Ryan Coonerty.

Stakeholders spent months discussing medical cannabis cultivation regulations before a county ordinance was drafted.

The moratorium gives supervisors 45 days to discuss if and how the county would regulate nonmedical cannabis. They will have a public hearing Dec. 13 on whether to extend the moratorium.

We have impending change, said Colin Disheroon, who founded Santa Cruz Mountain Naturals Inc., a medical cannabis collective, in 2009. Its wise to slow it down so were not blindsided.

Pat Malo, co-founder of Cannabis Advocates Alliance, wasnt sure a moratorium was needed.

Voters want to end the war on drugs, said Ben Lomond resident Jim Coffis, speaking as a consumer.

Supervisor Greg Caput suggested reviving the C4 stakeholder committee that discussed medical cannabis.

County voters a week ago approved a cannabis business tax but those emailed by the tax collector were surprised.

Jozee Roberto, co-owner of Naturally Mystic Organics, said a 10,000-square-foot cultivator would owe $150,000 to $175,000 to Watsonville because that citys tax is based on square footage and would owe $1 million to $1.5 million to the county, which levies a 7 percent tax on receipts.

We will be motivated to leave the county, said DAngelo Cricket Roberto, her husband and co-owner, who earlier had voiced willingness to cooperate on the moratorium.

If the 7 percent tax applies at every level, growers, manufacturers and distributors, this puts a huge tax burden on life-threatening emergencies, said Malo.

Coffis wasnt sure why he got the email. He said he is not eligible to cultivate due to county restrictions.

Supervisor John Leopold called for a public meeting to discuss the taxes.

In other action, supervisors:

Awarded the Aptos Village improvements phase 1 to John Madonna Construction Co. of San Luis Obispo for $1.8 million, $650 lower than Granite Rock Co., partly funded by a $650,000 grant from the Regional Transportation Commission.

Awarded construction of a bus stop and green bike lanes on 41st Avenue to Granite Construction of Watsonville for $123,230.

Agreed to request proposals for career counseling and job training after Goodwill Central Coast gave notice the satellite career center on Encinal Street will close in June.

Approved a 12.5 percent increase in trash pickup rates for GreenWaste Recoverys residential and commercial customers.

Approved a use agreement with Boulder Creek Recreation and Parks District for Bear Creek Country Club and $450,000 to fund the agreement.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Santa Cruz County Supervisors Adopt Moratorium On Nonmedical Cannabis
Author: Jondi Gumz
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Website: Santa Cruz Sentinel