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Oakland Okays Medical Marijuana Mega-Grows

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #659)
Drug War Issues

The Oakland city council last week approved an application process for commercial-scale medical marijuana grow ops. That same night, the city council also approved a separate measure doubling the number of dispensaries licensed to operate in the city from four to eight.

coming to Oakland -- licensed commercial-scale marijuana grows (Wikimedia)
The move makes Oakland the first city in the nation to approve marijuana cultivation on such a large scale. City council members said it was designed to take medical marijuana cultivation out of the shadows.

"Oakland is a leader in this industry, and I'm hoping that this will continue to grow," said Councilman Larry Reid in remarks reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Under the regulations approved Tuesday, applicants for the four grow licenses must undergo extensive financial background checks, provide security, and show themselves to be well-backed financially. The regulations also require that applicants pay back taxes for marijuana they have sold to Oakland dispensaries over the years, as well as interest and penalties.

It is unclear just how much marijuana large growers seeking one of the four permits have sold to city dispensaries. Much of the marijuana in the dispensaries is produced by small growers. The council earlier this year promised to create regulations to include them too, but has not yet done so.

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buzzardwhiskey (not verified)

The last ingredient for society's acceptance of marijuana as a recreational drug along with alcohol, tobacco and caffeine, is uncovering the dark world of the grower.  When people can see the whole chain from grower to seller to customer, the death knell will have sounded for the fear-based prohibitionist.  My next hope is that the names of the strains can be moved toward something you'd hear in Napa Valley wines.

Tue, 11/16/2010 - 10:01am Permalink

While I agree that the growers need to brought into the light of day, mega grows are not the only option. Considering that a mega grow of 100,000 square feet will keep over 3000 independents from making a living. Furthermore, it will enrich beyond your wildest dreams the one lucky, connected crony bastrd that bribed the right people to get the license. Then you have the feds to consider (are you willing to risk your capital). Bring independent growers together into facilities and allocate production on a quota system to spread the opportunity among the many. Twenty kilos at $4 a gram is $80,000. If you want more, then maybe a growers life is not for you. Each time somebody gets the lions share, thousands are denied a piece of the pie. Tobacco was quota, homesteading was quota, it is not unprecedented. It is the only democratic solution.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 1:09pm Permalink

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