YUCCA VALLEY GETS COMPLETED PETITION FOR PRO-MARIJUANA BALLOT PROPOSAL

YUCCA VALLEY GETS COMPLETED PETITION FOR PRO-MARIJUANA BALLOT PROPOSAL

The Yucca Valley Town Clerk received a completed petition regarding the “Town of Yucca Valley Exemption of State Licensed Commercial Cannabis Operations from Town Prohibition on Commercial Marijuana Activities” from the proponents of the voter initiative. Proponents received approval to circulate the petition among local voters April 9. Yucca Valley Town Manager Curtis Yakimow said the initiative, if successful, “would provide an exemption for commercial cultivation activities in certain zoning districts. It does nothing to provide any retail access, retail dispensaries or home delivery access. Those would remain prohibited activities in this initiative.” Monday, proponents delivered 2,499 signatures to the Town Clerk’s office for verification. The Clerk delivered the petition to the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters Office for full signature verification. Initiative proponents will need at least 15 percent (1,608) valid voter signatures to trigger a special election in the Town of Yucca Valley. Anything below that but above the 10 percent mark (1,072) will be considered at the November 2018 general election. The Registrar of Voters will have 30 business days to verify signatures. The Yucca Valley Town Council will review the results of the signature verification once completed and will evaluate their options at that time. For any questions on the initiative process, contact Lesley Copeland, Town Clerk at townclerk@yucca-valley.org or at 760-369-7209 x226.

INITIATIVE MEASURE TO BE SUBMITTED DIRECTLY TO THE VOTERS

The Town Attorney has prepared the following title and summary of the chief purpose and points of the proposed measure:

Town of Yucca Valley Exemption of State Licensed Commercial Cannabis Operations from Town Prohibition on Commercial Marijuana Activities

This measure seeks voter approval to permit state licensed commercial cannabis operations within the Town of Yucca Valley. Retail sales of cannabis, including stores or dispensaries, outdoor cannabis cultivation, and cannabis microbusinesses, whether for medical or adult use purposes, would remain prohibited if this measure is enacted.

In July of 2017, the Town Council adopted Ordinance 268, which prohibits all commercial marijuana operations in the Town. The proposed measure would exempt state-licensed commercial cannabis operations from the Town’s existing prohibition.

The proposed measure does not impose any tax on commercial cannabis operations. At a later date, by a vote of the people, such commercial cannabis activities may be subject to local taxation, but the proposed measure does not currently provide for such taxation.

The proposed measure incorporates the requirements set forth in the California Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, which was signed into law on June 27, 2017. The proposed measure sets forth general operating standards for any exempted commercial cannabis activity, which standards include signage restrictions, a $200 limit on overnight cash reserve holdings, distancing of volatile solvents from residential zones, Town application and permit requirements, general requirements for opaque enclosed operational structures, state law compliance, and a minimum age limit of 21 years for access to exempt premises. The proposed measure does not set any limit as to the number of commercial cannabis operations that may be exempted from current Town Codes.

The proposed measure would essentially overturn existing law enacted by the Town Council by exempting commercial cannabis operations from the prohibitions imposed by Ordinance 268 and Chapter 9.53 of the Town Municipal Code. If the measure is enacted by the voters, commercial cannabis operations, other than retail sales, including stores or dispensaries, outdoor cultivation, and microbusinesses, will be allowed within certain Town Industrial/Commercial Zoning Districts.

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