Wanted: Marijuana Friendly Government Representation

Thursday, September 17, 2015 | 8:30 pm

This month, I want to discuss the topic of running for city council in cities that prohibit cannabis commercial business. More and more people are complaining passionately to me about their local city ordinances that prohibit their cannabis businesses. Especially in the light of the new regulations that are likely to be signed into law this month. These regulations set forth a California state licensing system for commercial cannabis activity, which includes seventeen different kinds of state licenses for marijuana businesses.

In order to obtain a business license from the state, one must be in compliance with local laws. These regulations feel like they are the precursor to recreational marijuana being legalized in California in 2016; which many believe will be the case. Recently, I’ve been approached by California business owners, currently in other industries, who desire to adjust their business plans to integrate into the cannabusiness industry. This industry is said to have over a 4 billion dollar market value.

To restate the problem, business people run their businesses or want to run their businesses in a particular city, but the city does not have cannabusiness friendly ordinances permitting them to apply for a business license. Said another way, these are business people; who see a business opportunity, but their city or county governments hamstringing every effort.

What should a business owner do? Here is an idea for people for people with “skin in the game”: run for office. If your local government representatives are operating in a mode that is on the other side of history, then it may be time to replace them with someone else: You. Individuals, who care about what is going on in their cities, and wish to see their local area take advantage of cannabusiness opportunities, may want to consider gathering some like-minded business persons to discuss starting an election campaign based on the rules and regulations of their city or county.

Different countries and localities may set their own unique requirements. For example it is important to figure out how often elections are held and the rules related to running for office.

I have attended plenty of city council meetings where marijuana business owners come to the microphone to ask permission to conduct business, only to be summarily dismissed by council members who are not representative of their interests.

Here are three reasons why a businessperson who sees the economic opportunities of this industry might want to “step up to the plate” and run for office.
First, most Californians support adult use, because safe and successful adult use programs are clearly possible, as evidenced by Colorado and other cities in California, that run successful business models.

Next, many California businesses are thinking of adjusting their business plan to get a piece of the action and need representation.

Finally, California voters enacted the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, nineteen years ago and patients are still largely treated like second-class citizens, where their local governments will not pay them the respect of making safe, local, medical marijuana available to them.

These patients need a strong representative voice in their local governments.

This industry needs representative leadership. Be that leader. And if you cannot be that leader, find that leader, help get them elected and let’s make progress.

The Brooke Law Group is located at 225 S. Lake Ave. Ste. 300, Pasadena. For more information, call (626) 375-6702 or visit www.brookelawgroup.com.


blog comments powered by Disqus