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Oceanside Considering Medical Marijuana Regulations

Customers buy products at a medical marijuana dispensary, April 20, 2016.

Credit: Associated Press

Above: Customers buy products at a medical marijuana dispensary, April 20, 2016.

Oceanside Considering Medical Marijuana Regulations

GUESTS:

Chuck Lowery, deputy mayor, City of Oceanside

Eric Larson, executive director, San Diego County Farm Bureau

Transcript

Oceanside has large agricultural areas where farmers are very interested in the future potential of marijuana, but the city extended its ban on medical pot in April.

An Oceanside committee tasked with coming up with new medical marijuana regulations met Monday, the first of seven planned hearings.

The sale of recreational marijuana was approved by California voters last year, and will go into effect in January 2018 unless local cities decide to ban it. That is exactly what Oceanside did in April, extending its ban on medical marijuana businesses and blocking stores from selling recreational pot. But just a few weeks later, the city launched the medical marijuana committee to recommend new rules that could allow its sale and cultivation. The committee is chaired by Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery.

The committee's first hearing focused on cultivation. Future meetings will hear from experts on banking, testing and distribution.

“A lot of the discussion was on water use,” said Eric Larson, executive director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau, who presented at the meeting. “(Marijuana) has a reputation of using a lot of water, but the conclusion is that commercial growers will use closed systems to reduce that threat.”

Larson and Lowery joined KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday with more on how much marijuana farmers would want to grow and how Oceanside might regulate it.

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