Imagine the anxiety a business owner might experience operating the first marijuana dispensary in a California county where dispensaries are currently banned.
“The uncertainty of them coming in and getting taken down by the feds is just, sleepless nights,” said Mark Ponticelli with The People’s Remedy.
But those sleepless nights may soon be fewer and farther between in Stanislaus County.
“Right now it’s more just we’re waiting for it to go through,” Ponticelli said.
The county board of supervisors will consider a pot proposal this Tuesday. It would create an application process for no more than seven commercial cannabis businesses in unincorporated Stanislaus County.
“The interest is huge in this county,” said Assistant County Counsel Thomas Boze.
Boze says one or two people have called him asking about permits every day for several months, some of whom already operate cannabis businesses there.
Even though medical and recreational marijuana businesses are banned in the county, at least 17 storefronts are advertised online.
“Yes, those businesses are operating illegally, currently the county doesn’t have the resources to enforce on those businesses,” Boze said.
“Once we found out that in Stanislaus County they weren’t really enforcing it, I hired the right attorneys and consultants and just tried to do it as legitimately as I could,” Ponticelli said.
Ponticelli has been through this before.
When San Joaquin County supervisors recently voted to allow cannabis businesses there, he willing shut down the dispensary he was already operating in Stockton and has since applied for a permit there.
He hopes to apply for a permit on his Modesto dispensary, The People’s Remedy, if the board approves the staff recommendation.
“I’m pushing for regulation, I love regulation,” Ponticelli said.
The proposal says cannabis