NEWMAN - The city is joining a coalition of agencies planning to file suit against the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control.
City Council members authorized the action in closed session last Tuesday, Feb. 12.
City Manager Michael Holland said the agencies joining ranks in the pending litigation are challenging the bureau over its regulation which allow state-licensed cannabis businesses to deliver marijuana anywhere in California - regardless of local preference.
Holland said that regulation runs contrary to Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which stated that local agencies would have control over what - if any - commercial cannabis activities would be allowed in their jurisdiction.
“This is about inconsistency with state law and the will of the people,” Holland told Mattos Newspapers. “Their regulations are usurping local control, while state law said locals would be able to create their own ordinances that meet the desires of their own community.”
The Newman City Council has taken a hard line against allowing any commercial cannabis activity.
“There are cities that allow sales and industrial uses, as well as (those) who ban it all,” Holland said. “Our ordinance prohibits the operation of any kind of cannabis business.”
Holland acknowledged that delivery represents a small piece of the overall cannabis industry, but said the trend to override the intent of the people is cause for alarm.
“If they are overstepping their bounds on this, what other regulations are going to be next?” he questioned.
The state’s position regarding delivery, Holland added, means that “we don’t know who is coming in and out of this community and selling this product.”
Given the nature of the business, he conceded, it is difficult to know if, or to what extent, cannabis delivery is occurring.