A Look at Upcoming Pot Initiatives in Kern

Kern County voters are expected to face competing initiatives for cannabis legalization this November. Kern Radio host Richard Beene recently sat down with the attorney behind one of them to discuss their differences and what he sees in store for cannabis’ future.

Ben Eilenberg is leading the campaign for the Kern Regulation and Taxation of Cannabis Act of 2018. It would legalize both medical and adult-use marijuana businesses in unincorporated parts of Kern. The businesses would be limited to no more than 35, they would be taxed, and they would be kept 1,000 feet away from schools and daycare centers.

The second initiative is markedly different. It would only legalize medical cannabis businesses. Bakersfield will also be voting on a citywide cannabis initiative.

There’s some worry that the plethora of pot measures could confuse people or result in voter fatigue. But right now Eilenberg said polls show support for his measure hovering at around 80%. That’s big news for a county whose board of supervisors banned all commercial marijuana in October.

Eilenberg also discussed what he sees as some of the successes and failures of California’s great marijuana experiment so far. He pointed to jurisdictions like Santa Ana as an example of ‘getting it right’ but said underwhelming state revenue is cause for concern across the board.

Listen to the entire interview here


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