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Oroville looking at ways to make commercial marijuana sales work

"It's still federally illegal - to put our city art risk to possibly have our assets seized is just not something I was willing to do," said mayor Linda Dahlmeier.

Posted: Jan. 17, 2018 5:51 PM

"I always wanted to see Oroville to do so well, and everybody prosper, to lift the oppressed ... have jobs, housing, that's all on our horizon," said Mike Howard, an Oroville resident and proponent of bringing marijuana dispensaries to the city.

For people like Howard, it's a time to celebrate, after a long city council meeting Tuesday ended in a 5 to 2 decision to work on a new law - one that would allow marijuana sales in Oroville.

The persuading argument? Amny would argue it was all about the potential tax revenue.

"We have a wonderful staff and government right now, but they're in survival mode, they're trying to find ways to make it," said Howard.

Among those opposed is Oroville's mayor.

"It's still federally illegal - to put our city art risk to possibly have our assets seized is just not something I was willing to do," said mayor Linda Dahlmeier. "I actually spoke to the county, talked to Chico city officials about why they passed on this and it's because ... the fallout is really uncertain and how this is going to really unravel."
As for public safety?

"I believe the larger distribution centers will become a target, and it's just putting Oroville on the map to become a target for something I don't personally believe we need to be known for," said Dahlmeier.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions and it's up to city staff to figure out just what this might look like.

The new industry could mean more visitors, and with them, outside money.

"We don't have roads fixed (from spillway repairs) .. I don't think that's how we want to garner another 500 people a day, not to mention the traffic," said Dahlmeier.

City staff is basing their plan off of what the city of Shasta Lake is already doing, and there, nearly 30% of the tax money from the marijuana industry goes directly to the city.

"I know that some people are very disappointed, but we have some time to educated ourselves, line things up for our youth, our homeless and use this income and resources that we now ill have to make things right for this community," said Howard.

"I would question who stands to gain from this. Someone said last night, 'follow the money'. I'd follow the money. Who stands to gain and why was this pushed so hard through our city council," said Dahlmeier.

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