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Encinitas Marijuana Advocates Pushing For November Ballot Measure

Recently harvested marijuana buds dry at a farm near Garberville, Calif., Oct...

Photo by Associated Press

Above: Recently harvested marijuana buds dry at a farm near Garberville, Calif., Oct. 12, 2016.

Signature gatherers are gearing up to put a marijuana initiative on the November ballot in Encinitas. If passed, the measure would allow indoor cultivation and manufacturing, plus up to four legal dispensaries for recreational marijuana in the city.

The Encinitas City Council, like all other North County city councils, has decided not to lift a ban on commercial cannabis activities. But Encinitas is likely to be the second city — after Vista — to see a recreational marijuana initiative campaign this year. Encinitas city attorney’s office said he will deliver the initiative's title and summary this week to be published in a local paper.

Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear said she would have preferred to wait because there is such a lack of clarity about what people want.

“There’s a group of people that want to bring marijuana businesses to the city right now,” she said, “and my feeling is that we’ll adapt to that, and we’ll be able to manage it if that is what people want. But we’ll leave it up to voters to see if that’s what they really want.”

RELATED: Oceanside Council Votes Against Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Blakespear said the environment now is similar to immediately after prohibition ended, and marijuana is being normalized at a rapid rate. She said regulations are changing fast, and Encinitas would be well served to wait until things settle down.

Photo by Alison St John

Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear during an interview in her office, April 17, 2018.

Association Of Cannabis Professionals

The Association of Cannabis Professionals is mounting the initiative. The group's Executive Director, Dallin Young, said if it passes the measure is written to allow the city council to modify the provisions after it’s been in effect for three years.

“We don’t want to have to do this,” Young said. “We’d like councils to do this — ordinances are so much easier to pass. We wanted to get this going forward to show that the community does want this, and then we want to put it back in the hands of council.”

Young said the initiative includes a provision that businesses would automatically be granted permits “by right” if they met all the legal requirements.

RELATED: Oceanside Planning Commission Doubles Down On Proposed Medicinal Marijuana Ordinance

In La Mesa and Lemon Grove voters have approved marijuana dispensaries already, but none has yet opened because of local opposition.

Young said signature gatherers only have a couple of months to collect at least 4,600 signatures by June to qualify the measure for November’s ballot. He said the campaign is not cheap: signatures cost an estimated $10 each to collect!

Young said Encinitas may not be the last city in San Diego County to see a marijuana initiative campaign this year.

Signature gatherers are gearing up to put a marijuana initiative on the November ballot in Encinitas. Encinitas is likely to be the second city, after Vista, to see a recreational marijuana initiative campaign this year.

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