With the date for the commercial legalization of marijuana in California quickly approaching, the Redding City Council voted unanimously to extend its current ban on commercial cannabis sales for one more year.
But Redding could still see commercial sales becoming a reality a lot sooner than that.
Tuesday night's Redding City Council meeting brought people from both sides of the fence on the issue of marijuana use.
Some argued that the tax revenue generated by commercial marijuana sales would provide financial relief to an already tight law enforcement budget.
“And I'm tired of Shasta Lake taking our money that we could be using here,” Annie Brassfield said. “They've taken it long enough”
Redding resident Lori Bridgeford disagreed.
“We're so many millions in debt,” Bridgeford said. “A few dollars here and there is not really going to tip the scale and save us.””
However, that wasn’t the issue.
The city council already agreed in October to allow cannabis sales and manufacturing within Redding city limits.
The vote was to extend the current ban on the commercial growth, sales and manufacturing of marijuana and marijuana-related products.
“We're extending that out, potentially extending that out for another 12 months to allow us more time to craft ordinances,” Redding City Council member Julie Winter said.
Winter said it's a complicated issue that needs to be handled correctly and can’t be rushed.
“You know, we're talking about ordinances relating to cultivation, ordinances related to dispensaries, ordinances related to distribution,” Winter said. “It's not like whipping out a shopping cart ordinance.”
And although they've bought another year to figure out the details, the city attorney says they'll more than likely have something ready by March or April of next year
The council would then abolish the moratorium at that time.
Winter says this issue has has been especially difficult for her since she's not a fan of recreational marijuana use.
But she says it's coming.
And when it does, the city won't have the means to handle the negative effects that come with it.
“So we get all of the negative of it without any positive return of revenue to mitigate the effects,” she said.
Winter says once the city attorney provides the first draft of the ordinance, the public will be invited to chime in.
And the council will then be able to address concerns and tailor the ordinance as best they can.
Medical marijuana patients are still allowed to grow up to six plants indoors or out.
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