Daily 49er

Long Beach passes marijuana measures

Measures MM and MA regulate and tax marijuana within Long Beach.

Nubia Valdez and Michaela Kwoka-Coleman, Staff Writers

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As of 10:02 p.m. Tuesday, Long Beach voters seem to be favoring two measures which have to do with regulating and taxing medical marijuana.

Under Measure MM, the city wide ban on medical marijuana dispensaries will be repealed, allowing between 26 and 32 dispensaries to operate within city limits.

Measure MA will determine the sales and cultivation tax of medical marijuana, as well as recreational marijuana with the passing of Proposition 64.

Proposition 64 legalized the consumption, sale and possession of recreational marijuana for Californians 21 years of age and older.

According to the Long Beach Press Telegram, Measure MM was passing with about 56 percent of votes and Measure MA was passing with about 68 percent of votes.  

Those in favor of Measure MM, including Long Beach councilmember Jeannine Pearce, said that this will protect children and patients while improving public safety and cleaning up neighborhoods.

They also believe it will keep children and neighborhoods safe because proof of age will be required, dispensaries will be prohibited in residential areas, limits on how many dispensaries there can be will be set and if there are any concerns, there will be community liaisons to serve as intermediaries.

“Measure MM establishes sensible regulations for the sale of medical marijuana within city limits,” said former Assemblyman Steven Bradford. “Patients can access safe, affordable medicine with tough lab testing standards for safety.”

The taxes imposed by Measure MA will be used to pay for public safety, such as 911 response, police officers, homelessness services and city services.

Non-medical marijuana dispensaries will have their taxes raised by eight to 12 percent and medical marijuana dispensaries by six to eight percent.

Six to eight percent will be raised for processing, distributing, transporting and testing marijuana related products.

There will be a tax between $12 to $15 for marijuana cultivation.

Those in favor of the measure included mayor Robert Garcia. Proponents believed that this will be funding public safety because it will invest in police officers, fire resources, public health and solutions to homelessness.

City officials have estimated the measure will generate around $13 million annually.

*All information comes from Ballotpedia.com, a nonprofit organization that provides nonpartisan information on American politics and elections.

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