Some Cities in the Inland Empire Are Taking a Second Look at Marijuana
A new day has dawned in California and some Inland city leaders are responding accordingly. While some cities in Riverside and San Bernardino counties are doubling down on pot bans after the passage of Proposition 64, others are rethinking their anti-marijuana stances in favor of ‘sensible regulation’ and looking to expand the local tax base.
Riverside City Council members, for instance, will consider regulating and taxing pot shops early next year, despite longtime opposition to any marijuana in their midst. Most notably, San Bernardino voters approved a measure allowing up to five marijuana businesses in the city’s commercial and industrial zones last month. Measure O could bring in $19-24 million in revenue. Other Inland cities cashing in through taxes on marijuana businesses or cultivation include Adelanto, Cathedral City, Coachella, and Perris.
“Now that it is legal, people will buy it in adjoining jurisdictions that allow it and bring it back here, whether we tax it or not or whether we allow it or not, and we will deal with whatever problems may come with that,” said Riverside Councilman Mike Gardner. Officials in Corona have the same concerns. Councilman Eugene Montanez fears the situation could “get out of hand” unless the city comes up with some set of rules governing recreational marijuana.
Not everyone is having a change of heart. Upland voters recently rejected a measure which would have allowed medical marijuana shops. The cities of Ontario and Fontana both banned cultivation, distribution, and sale of both recreational and medical weed.
Read more about the Inland Empire’s reexamination of marijuana rules here.