This year, the cannabis industry can legally throw money into politics in California, and candidates can legally accept it. One race where marijuana money may flow is the race to replace San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn.
The Outliers Collective is just that: it’s in an outlying warehouse just east of El Cajon city boundaries in unincorporated San Diego County. It is one of the few legally licensed medicinal marijuana operations in the region.
“We cultivate,” said CEO Lincoln Fish. “We extract or manufacture products, we dispense and we can also do distribution elsewhere.“
But Fish said Outliers has a problem: San Diego’s County Supervisors approved zoning to allow a handful of legalized cannabis operations in 2010, but then rescinded that decision last year.
“Everybody was on board,” he said, “and then Kristin Gaspar won and she took a totally different approach and basically shot us down.”
Supervisors Ron Roberts and Greg Cox supported regulation, and Horn and Dianne Jacob opposed regulation. After defeating Democrat Dave Roberts in 2016, Gaspar became the swing vote on the board. She used it last year to vote for a marijuana moratorium. Dave Roberts had been the critical third vote for allowing a limited number of licensed dispensaries in unincorporated areas.
“What happened was, the county said, ‘We’re going to ban and we’re going to allow for the operations currently in place to be grandfathered in for a five-year period,’” Fish said. “We need votes.”
Bill Horn’s 5th District Seat
Marijuana money is likely to play a significant role in this year’s elections. A handful of cannabis companies like Outlier have much at stake, depending on who