Residents in Manhattan Beach are working to approve an initiative that would allow as many as two licensed cannabis businesses to open in their city. Keep reading to learn more.
Citizens Take Action
Manhattan Beach city officials banned cannabis businesses five years ago. They were concerned about attracting criminal activity and advertising targeting minors but the sentiments within the community have changed dramatically.
California cannabis laws leave the decision making to the cities which means that a municipality may choose whether to issue sanctions or restrictions on cannabis within city limits. Measures to legalize marijuana have4 been deceptively widespread, but outside of large cities, marijuana is heavily restricted.
As a result, cannabis businesses have pushed for expansion of the law so they can open dispensaries in restricted areas, but the state legislature is not open to their arguments. In fact, a new bill was introduced that would require local governments to permit medical cannabis businesses, but lawmakers scaled back the bill to allow patients access to medical marijuana treatments.
Now, citizens of cities like Manhattan Beach are pushing back against restrictions and want more cannabis businesses in their cities and towns.
A New Community
Tensions are also a factor – one which lawmaker are wary of in the current climate. While support for Prop. 64 remains high, officials are hesitant to listen to constituents. They fear that cannabis businesses are trying to build revenue at the cost of proper business procedure. After all, if opening Manhattan Beach to cannabis businesses only benefits the owners, are consumers still protected?
City officials have developed competing measures for the November ballot including a high sales tax and deterring businesses with fees. On their side are constituents who fear that cannabis may interfere with the small-town family friendly feel of the city. The beach city is high-end and known for its affluent neighborhoods – neighborhoods that some fear would be corrupted by cannabis.
Either way, Manhattan Beach will become a new community after the November election.
What This Means for Cannabis Businesses
Cannabis business owners should be cautious of the intense restrictions imposed in these cities. If officials win, businesses could pay astronomical fees for operation and lose customers because of 25% sales tax. These deterrents would be effective, and it is important to recognize the risks.
The only way to protect a cannabis business is by following the law and keeping all permits and licenses current. Fees for operation are expensive, but fines for breaking the law are higher. Cannabis businesses large and small must keep up with changing regulations.
If you own a cannabis business, contact Purdy & Bailey, LLP. Our firm can help you protect your business.