Town of Truckee seeks input on future of marijuana regulation | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Town of Truckee seeks input on future of marijuana regulation

Amanda Rhoades
arhoades@sierrasun.com

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The town of Truckee is hosting the first of a series of marijuana regulation workshops on Feb. 9 to address the recent passage of Proposition 64 and develop local policy.

While it is currently legal for Californians to possess and use marijuana, there's currently no way for them to purchase it from a dispensary without a medical card.

That's because the state and local jurisdictions have until January 2018 to develop a licensing system for businesses to be able to sell it, similar to the way alcohol sales are regulated.

In the meantime, local governments like the town of Truckee have some decisions to make. While the passage of Proposition 64 last November made it legal for Californians to possess and cultivate up to six plants for recreational use, how those plants are allowed to be cultivated is left up to local lawmakers.

Town Manager Tony Lashbrook said in an earlier interview with the Sun that the town wants to hear from residents on how they think it should be managed.

Under the new state law, adults 21 and older can now consume marijuana with or without medical need, and possess, transport or give away up to 28.5 grams of it — or 8 grams of concentrate, according to the town's website.

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The California Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, which is becoming the Bureau of Marijuana Control, according to state documents, is responsible for licensing dispensaries. That process won't begin until Jan. 2018 for non-medical uses.

Local jurisdictions will need to decide how marijuana is allowed to be cultivated, whether that is indoor or outdoor, how it can be manufactured and processed, how it is taxed, as well as how it can be sold and delivered.

Medical dispensaries have always been required to obtain a state-issued permit for the sale of marijuana, and that requirement will apply to all marijuana retailers beginning next year.

But, the town of Truckee, uniquely, doesn't offer its own business licenses. How it will handle permitting of marijuana dispensaries is still up in the air.

In the past, the town has been largely torn over the issue of marijuana regulation. According to a previous Sierra Sun report, town council debated banning medical marijuana deliveries in November 2015 and was so torn due to an outpouring of public feedback that they ended up tabling the discussion for another meeting.

They never did make a decision, though, since by that time the state proposition to legalize marijuana had started to gain momentum.

Marijuana has been legal for medical use in California since 1996, when 56 percent of voters approved Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act.

Ten years later, in November 2016, the same percentage of voters approved Proposition 64 for recreational use.

California is now one of nine states where recreational marijuana use is legal (voters in neighboring Nevada also approved a similar measure last November), and beginning Jan. 1, 2018, the state will collect a 15 percent excise tax on its sale.

According to the California Board of Equalization website, an additional tax on cultivators will also be levied in the amount of $9.25 per dry-weight ounce of marijuana flowers and $2.75 per dry-weight ounce of marijuana leaves.

Amanda Rhoades is a news, environment and business reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at arhoades@sierrasun.com, 530-550-2653 or @akrhoades.

Join the local conversation

The first “Cannibis Dialogue” with the town of Truckee is scheduled for Feb. 9 from 6-8 p.m. at town hall, and the first portion will be televised and livestreamed by TTCTV, according to a spokesperson from the town.

Follow-up workshops are scheduled for the same time and place on March 9, Apr. 13, and May 11. There’s also an online survey on the town’s website that will remain open until Feb. 17.

Questions to the town regarding marijuana regulation and the scheduled workshops can be emailed to cannibis@townoftruckee.com.

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