City Council will mull cannabis sales

THE COMMERCIAL SALE of cannabis will be discussed at a special meeting of the Stanton City Council on Tuesday.

A new member of the Stanton City Council is scheduled to be sworn in Tuesday night, but the biggest seeds – pun intended – of change could come earlier in the day.

The regular session of the council at 6:30 p.m. will see Hong Alyce Van sworn in as an appointed member of the five-member body, filling a seat vacated by the resignation of Al Ethans. Tim Van Kissing will administer the oath to her (she goes by “Alyce” rather than Hong as her first name).

But at 4 p.m. the council will meet to consider a proposal to allow the commercial sale of cannabis – a substance derived from marijuana – within city limits. Under California law, such sale is legal, but cities have the option to regulate that commerce, including passing ordinances permitting it or prohibiting it.

The commercial sale of cannabis is not legal in Garden Grove, Huntington Beach and Westminster, but it is in Santa Ana. That city is hoping to reap considerable sales tax revenue from the enterprise, but some cities that permit “pot shops” have also encountered issues with robberies and tax collection.

Since the federal government still considers marijuana and its derivatives to be unlawful, banks – which are chartered and regulated by Uncle Sam – won’t give cannabis seller’s accounts or credit card use. The result is what’s primarily a cash business, which in some instances has attracted theft and concerns about underreporting sales tax collection.

Also at the regular meeting at 6:30 p.m., the council is expected to select a new mayor pro tem.

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