Less than a week until Kern County marijuana dispensary vote – Bakersfield Now

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BAKERSFIELD, California (KBAK) — 

Tuesday night the Kern County Board of Supervisors will vote on whether to allow marijuana dispensaries in the county once Prop 64 takes affect in January.

County planning commissioners are recommending the board allow the pot shops so they can be regulated and taxed.

Presently many of the existing shops operate illegally and are neither regulated nor taxed.

“What it is now is a lawless industry which does pretty much what it wants when it wants it,” said Lorelei Oviatt, director of county planning.

If the cultivation, testing, and sale of marijuana is permitted in Kern County a lot of money comes with them.

According to Oviatt the tax revenue from operations would be more than $30 million dollars each year plus a couple million more in sales and property taxes.

In addition all tax revenue generated from marijuana statewide will be going into a fund and granted out to counties and cities which allow the sales and cultivation of the drug.

This fund is estimated to reach about $1 billion.

Should the county ban the shops, just as many cities within county have, they will not be able to access that fund.

It is also anticipated regulated commercial cannabis operations will bring 8,750 jobs to Kern County.

The fact of the matter is oil is never going to resurge,” said Supervisorial District 5 Commissioner Xochitl Garcia. “The marijuana industry has the ability to bring thousands of jobs. We can’t deny that.”

The main argument against allowing the shops to exist legally is how they will affect public safety.

People are concerned that crime rates will go up, children will start using drugs, and addiction

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