OROVILLE, Calif. - Approval of a cannabis ordinance for the city of Oroville is in the talks, and Thursday afternoon the city held two public meetings about the issue.
“Cannabis is in our homes, it's in our communities, it's in our schools, it's in our streets; it's here. And we can license it and regulate it, or turn a blind eye and let it do what it's always done,” said Inland Cannabis Farmers Association Executive Director Jessica Mackenzie.
She said the first meeting went the way they usually go: no harm, no foul.
“People show up whose minds are already made up, and they are at the far ends of the spectrum.”
She stands more in the middle, and she's mostly interested in talking about regulation.
“Let's say where it should happen, when it should happen, and how many should happen.
She wants to take control of the industry and gain some benefit. She says one of the consultant's messages is if the city wants to sustain this, it has to give the businesses a legitimate chance to make it; the city can not pick and choose parts of the supply chain.
“You wouldn't have a store that sells tomatoes but you wouldn't let anybody grow tomatoes in a 500 mile radius. You know, it has to be a realistic, rational approach,” she said.
Right now, the city has a total ban, but is thinking about approving a cannabis ordinance.
Mackenzie is okay with having dispensaries as long as they are regulated, and hopes people come to these meetings to express their concerns proactively and objectively, and for the city to ultimately come up with regulations that give 80% of the people 80% of what they want.
She says we regulate alcohol and tobacco, and cannabis should be next on the list.
“I know those are tired arguments, but they're true, and that's why they're tired. We accept those things in our community that have huge detrimental impacts, and we regulate them, and we charge a lot of money so that we can take the money from them and go out and do public programs and education programs and mitigation programs.”