By Jim Tortolano
Stanton took the first tentative steps toward allowing the commercial uses of cannabis – marijuana – at Tuesday night’s meeting of the City Council.
In a special session starting at 4 p.m., the council voted 5-0 to form an ad hoc committee to craft a possible ordinance regulating the cultivation, processing and sale of “pot” and after that to consider a ballot measure stating the fees and costs to be paid by those businesses.
The city council members of the committee will be Rigoberto Ramirez and Alyce Van. They’ll be joined by city staffers and representatives of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which provides police services for Stanton.
Although current California law allows for the sale of recreational cannabis products, cities are allowed to exercise local control to permit such businesses or ban them. Stanton has yet to officially enact either option.
At Tuesday’s session, the council was told by its consultant, HdL, that the city could reap from $725,000 to $1.74 million annually from cannabis enterprises.
Referring to the changes in society and laws regulating the use of various intoxicants, Councilwoman Carol Warren said “Cannabis is the next thing on the list.”
The sort of business model most discussed at Tuesday’s meeting was not a small storefront in an industrial area, but a much bigger and more sophisticated operation such as Cookies, which has a large, sophisticated facility in the city of Maywood in Los Angeles County.
An election would cost the city between $75,000 and $125,000, depending on the time of the balloting.
Proposition 64, which legalized the recreational sale and use of marijuana, was approved by 56 percent of California voters. In Orange County, 52 percent of voters approved as did those in Stanton.