Oakland Approves Giant Marijuana Farms
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Oakland Approves Giant Marijuana Farms
Posted by CN Staff on July 22, 2010 at 04:05:38 PT
By Malia Wollan
Source: New York Times
Oakland, Calif. -- This city, which has been at the vanguard of medical marijuana legalization on everything from taxation to trade schools to the unionization of marijuana workers, voted Tuesday to permit industrial-size marijuana farms.After hours of public testimony, the City Council voted 5 to 2 to permit large-scale indoor marijuana plantations. The struggling city, which faces a $31 million deficit and has a 17 percent unemployment rate, estimates that the marijuana factories could bring in as much as $38 million annually in fees and taxes.
“As the industry continues to emerge and grow, we know that other cities are looking at this,” said Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, who is running for mayor. “It’s important for Oakland to be a vital part of the growth and development of licensed facilities.”While the city has been one of the most welcoming in the state to medical marijuana purveyors, how the drug is grown has been largely unregulated. Oakland’s new law, which requires a final vote from the City Council next week, would bring large-scale marijuana cultivators above ground, mandating that they pay a $211,000 annual fee, provide security, conduct criminal background checks on employees, install camera surveillance and fire-safe electrical systems, and buy insurance.If the plan receives final approval, the city would begin issuing large-scale production permits in January.Last year, the city’s four licensed medical marijuana dispensaries sold some 6,000 pounds of marijuana worth $28 million and requiring approximately 45,000 square feet of space to grow. City officials estimate that farmers in the new facilities could produce 70,000 pounds a year.If California voters approve a statewide ballot measure in November legalizing recreational marijuana use for adults, the city would be well positioned to capitalize on the new market.During the raucous Tuesday meeting — marked by hissing, booing and applause — the council heard testimony from marijuana farmers, including small-scale cultivators who grow their crops in closets and those intending to create marijuana farms larger than football fields.Nearly all the speakers urged the council to act quickly and to expand the permitting process to include medium-size farmers.“You want to be the Silicon Valley of cannabis?” asked Jeff Wilcox, who is seeking a permit for a business park for medical marijuana cultivation. “You’ve got to start now.”A version of this article appeared in print on July 22, 2010, on page A18 of the New York Edition.Source: New York Times (NY)Author:  Malia WollanPublished: July 22, 2010Copyright: 2010 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #5 posted by rchandar on July 28, 2010 at 13:51:25 PT:
Sam Adams
I don't know myself. I think the first time I heard the term "marijuana" was when I was 12, watching a clip from Woodstock. One of the members of Country Joe and the Fish brandished a joint, big smile."Cannabis" is kind of an intellectualized term. It refers to the plant, and science. It's more common in Europe. But then, I grew up not knowing the difference between schwag and chronic, either.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on July 27, 2010 at 17:47:02 PT
Oakland Gives Final OK To Large-Scale Pot Farms
July 27, 2010Oakland, Calif. -- The City Council gave final approval Tuesday to a plan that makes Oakland the first city in the country to authorize large-scale industrial pot cultivation.The city intends to license four production plants where marijuana would be grown, packaged and processed for medical use.Under the plan, which would take effect in January, license recipients would be heavily taxed and regulated. They would have to pay the city $211,000 in annual permit fees, carry $2 million in liability insurance and be prepared to devote up to 8 percent of gross sales to taxes.The measure also would require bidders to meet certain labor, environmental and product safety standards.However, there would be no size restrictions on the facilities.Two of the eight City Council members abstained from the vote.Supporters of the measure say it will create jobs and bring in much-needed revenue to Oakland. They also say it will give the city an advantage if California voters approve the legalization of recreational marijuana in November.Opponents argue the urban pot farms would put small medical marijuana growers out of business.Permits would not be limited to Oakland-based businesses. Councilwoman Desley Brooks said she hoped local business owners and minorities would be encouraged to apply.Information from: The Oakland Tribune: http://www.oaklandtribune.comCopyright: 2010 The Associated PressURL:
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on July 22, 2010 at 08:30:53 PT
thestales don't forget that "marijuana" is actually an American word that is not normally used in England, Europe, or the rest of the world. I guess the Hearst media empire didn't extend to Europe in the early 1900' far as I"m concerned the word marijuana is like saying "booze", it's a slang word. People that are seriously discussing policy or health effects always use the word "alcohol" and I always use the word cannabis myself, or I need a slang word "the herb"
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 22, 2010 at 08:09:44 PT
Is Medical Marijuana Going Big Business in Calif.?
July 22, 2010URL:
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Comment #1 posted by thestales on July 22, 2010 at 07:37:59 PT
more intelligent
notice how the more progressive folks tend to use the word cannabis?Words shape our world. Its not what you say, but how you say it.Please let there be football fields full. 
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