Editor’s Note: This is a new series where the Turlock Journal staff will look into issues requested by our readers. To submit a Reader Request topic, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209-634-9141.
With the majority of residents in California approving Proposition 64 — legalizing the use and possession of marijuana for adults 21 or older — in the November 2016 General Election, there has been much discussion among local municipalities on regulating commercial cannabis activities.
The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Prop 64) provides that local governments can reasonably regulate, but cannot ban the personal indoor cultivation of up to six marijuana plants per private residence. Cities and counties can, however, choose to ban the commercial cultivation and retail sales of marijuana. Municipalities which choose to ban commercial cannabis are ineligible to receive state grant monies funded through the new state excise taxes.
So far, Stanislaus County, Riverbank, Ceres and Oakdale have allowed cannabis operations in their domains, while Turlock, Hughson, Newman and Waterford city councils have chosen to ban commercial marijuana activities.
The Turlock City Council voted to prohibit all commercial cannabis activities in January 2017, including dispensaries and deliveries of medical cannabis, and according to Mayor Gary Soiseth, the City Council is not expected to readdress the issue in 2018.
A Journal reader asked how many Turlock residents actually voted in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana. In the November 2016 election, 8,914 Turlock residents voted against Proposition 64 and 8,249 residents voted for it.
Countywide, 86,389 residents voted in favor of Prop 64 and 85,654 voted against it.