New Bill could add Hundreds of Dispensaries to OC

Maybe coming soon to a city near you…

Somewhere in Santa Ana, nestled between quiencenera shops and expensive cafes, lies a nondescript door. Behind it is one of Orange County’s many illegal dispensaries, operating daily without permits, lab-tested products or the proper taxes applied to the final cost. The Santa Ana Planning Commission, which aims to empower local businesses while promoting safety and education through community programs, is aware of the problems caused by the cannabis black market, though attempts at shutting them down has been likened to plugging a dam with your finger and hoping for the best.

In Sacramento, state lawmakers rolled out a new legislative measure intended to confront the bigger issue that fuels the illegal cannabis market: cities that refuse to allow legal sales despite overwhelming voter approval. Assembly Bill 1356 would add an additional 2,200 cannabis storefronts to the current 631 legal dispensaries located throughout the state. The bill would require each city to add a storefront for every 10,000 residents, or one cannabis retailer for every four liquor stores, whichever is fewer.

However, some cities already oppose the measure, citing the need to amend specific sections of the law that would require municipalities that already have permitted cannabis sales to vote again.

Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), the author of AB 1356, feels that this conversation is long overdue. “It’s unfortunate that the cities and the counties really haven’t fulfilled the will of the voters to provide legal access under Proposition 64,” he said.

It’s hard to blame dispensaries that operate illegally when you look at the number of people who voted in favor of legal cannabis versus the cities that actually make it available. Aliso Viejo, where 58 percent of the community voted yes on Proposition 64, only allows private, indoor growing and that’s only if you apply for a permit. Costa Mesa, Irvine and Anaheim, where voters also embraced the idea of cannabis retailers, have yet to allow brick and mortar shops to open.

So until we see an amended version of AB 1356, or cities at least welcome the idea of home delivery as a viable option, it appears the black market will continue to thrive. We will continue to report on this issue as it develops.

Jefferson Matthew VanBilliard is a leo that enjoys all things cannabis and is just trying his best. He let us know that although the desert will always be his home you can find him on Fourth St. in Santa Ana battle rapping teenagers or at the local high school where he coaches girls varsity volleyball without anyone’s permission.

5 Replies to “New Bill could add Hundreds of Dispensaries to OC”

  1. Ah, yes. The promotion of enhanced stupidity must prevail. Sacramento needs more like minded voters to keep their power structure and their policies intact.

  2. Sure, taxes gained are part of it. But more importantly, increased access means a lot of things, not just gained taxes. Currently, some folks have to travel very far to get to the dense areas that have dispensaries. It might be easy for you, but not so easy for some. And some folks, like me, do truly use it as a ‘medical’ crutch, for all sorts of things; not just to get high.

    Plus, an unintended consequence could be price drops, since it seems as if there’s an unspoken range of pricing that is reminiscent of the old days, where ‘risk’ was the main reason why the price was sometimes up to $60/8th for quality. Now, there is no risk other than the typical business related ones, so the pricing is a bit skewed- if it wasn’t, you wouldn’t see so many trying to get into the biz, duh. No one tries to get into a dead market.

    And another consequence could be greater supply or better distribution; currently you have to rely on the dispensary itself and its ability to manage its cash-flow and inventory, while at the same time providing quality product. And like many businesses, some do it better than others- just like th growers. It’s a young industry, slowly coming out from the shadows, and has a ways to go before it ‘matures’, so a bumpy road is to be expected.

    It’s just nice I no longer have to worry much about it- that’s a major bonus in itself. And not having to sit and yap for an hour with my local dealer/friend. LOL. So I’m willing to put up with the learning curve and growing pains of the industry. I just wish we’d find another way to package it without all the waste it’s causing- that’s a super untold story right now. Kinda like the early days of CD’s with those stupid longboxes. Sigh.

  3. Complete MISINFORMATION. Looking for a job at the WH or DOJ?
    I can think of 3 brick and mortar pot shops on Lincoln in Anaheim alone. Probably many more.

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