Medical Pot Users Feel the Pinch From Prop. 64
You’ve most likely heard of food deserts before. But cannabis deserts? Some medical marijuana advocates see a troubling trend ahead thanks to Prop. 64.
With California on the verge of creating a cannabis market worth an estimated $7 billion by 2025, medical marijuana advocates are sounding the alarm that legalization is having the unintended consequence of cutting off scores of patients from their medicine.
California’s Proposition 64, which legalized adult use and sales of recreational cannabis starting Jan. 1, also gave counties and municipalities the right to restrict where marijuana businesses can be located and to completely ban sales in their jurisdictions. The initiative approved by voters in November 2016 brought upheaval to the medical marijuana industry, which was established under nearly two decades of little state oversight.
The local-rights language of Prop 64 has prompted more cities and counties to temporarily or permanently ban commercial cannabis operations — including those for medical marijuana — effectively creating large “cannabis deserts” across the state, said Dale Schafer, a Sacramento attorney specializing in the rights of cannabis users.
We’ve covered the medical cannabis community’s apprehension over Prop. 64 since the outset. Many of those fears have since been substantiated. The latest figures from California City and County Regulation Watch put the number of counties enacting cannabis bans at 36 out of 58.
Read more at the Cannabist.