Pasadenans Legalize a Limited Number of Marijuana Dispensaries and Authorize New City Tax to Impose on Them

Published : Wednesday, June 6, 2018 | 5:27 AM

[Updated] By substantial margins, Pasadena voters approved two measures on Tuesday’s ballot which will authorize a limited number of commercial cannabis businesses to operate in the city and the levying of a special municipal tax upon those businesses.

Both measures passed by significant percentages: 59.9% of voters approved of the marijuana dispensaries being allowed in the city, while 75.5% approved of taxing those operations.

Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek said that the regulation and taxation of cannabis in the city was “a ‘win-win’ for everyone.”

Now passed, Ballot Measure CC will allow and regulate cannabis sales in the City, allowing only six retail outlets, while imposing distance requirements for recreational marijuana sales from schools, residences, and homes.

While the State has legalized Cannabis, cities are free to create their own regulations. Until now, Pasadena had outlawed marijuana dispensaries and waged a steady war against them.

“Looks like the City of Pasadena got their desired result,” observed Michele Brooke, Attorney with the Pasadena-based Brooke Law Group, which provides advocacy to the commercial cannabis industry. “  Current dispensaries operating illegally will be closed down and the good people of Pasadena will have access to safely tested cannabis if they so choose.”

The City now stands to earn tax revenue from local sales.

Ballot Measure DD provides for the actual legislation for the collection of business taxes and fees from retail cannabis operations at six percent, and other marijuana-related businesses at four percent. The funds will support the enforcement of cannabis regulations, as well as overall funds for City operations.

Brooke said she hopes that Pasadena officials “they act wisely and allow the new business owners to thrive. ”

“Hopefully, the City of Pasadena will follow a more business-friendly approach similar to the cities of Palm Springs and Cathedral City,” she said Wednesday.

The new ordinance will allow three types of commercial cannabis licenses — retail, cultivation, and lab testing.

A Retailer License would allow a commercial cannabis business to operate where cannabis and/or cannabis products are offered for retail sale, including deliveries as part of retail sale.

There will be a maximum of six retailers allowed within the City at any one time, and no more than one retailer within any one Council District. The retailers may not be located within 1,000 feet of any other cannabis retailer, and may not be located within 300 feet of any residential zone, or Cannabis lab, or within 600 feet of any park, K-12 school, church, childcare center, substance abuse center, or library.

Retailers will also be required to verify the age and all necessary documentation to ensure customers are of legal age for both medical and adult recreational use, according to the report. Uniformed licensed security personnel would also be required to monitor the site activity, control loitering and access, and serve as a visual deterrent to unlawful activities.

The approved measure requires that marijuana dispensaries be limited to 15,000 square feet in size. Cannabis cultivation labs would be limited to four city-wide, and not more than one in any one district. Cannabis labs would be limited to 30,000 square feet in size, including office space.

 

ELECTION RESULTS:

Pasadena City Special Municipal Election – Measure CC
Shall an ordinance be adopted to allow a limited number of commercial cannabis businesses to operate in the City.
Yes 59.90% (10,134 votes)
No 40.10% (6,784 votes)
Pasadena City Special Municipal Election – Measure DD
Shall the City tax cannabis (marijuana) businesses
Yes 75.49% (12,529 votes)
No 24.51% (4,067 votes)