Mike Harris – Published 9:00 am PT November 22, 2020 – Ventura County Star

Ventura County to allow cannabis businesses
Ventura looks like it will become the latest city in Ventura County businesses, including retail. Pictured is the SafePort Cannabis Dispensary in nearby Port Hueneme. Juan Carlo - The Star

Ventura looks to become the latest city in Ventura County to allow commercial cannabis businesses.

Now that the city’s Measure I to tax such businesses appears to have been approved by voters in the Nov. 3 election, the City Council on Monday night is expected to introduce an ordinance to permit the establishments to open starting next year.

The ordinance was contingent on the measure passing.

But the city now wants the cannabis businesses so they can generate tax revenues to help fund city services.

A limited number of such businesses would be allowed: a maximum of two retail and five industrial – manufacturing, testing labs, and distribution.

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Cultivation, however, would continue to be prohibited.

“Implementation of the proposed commercial cannabis program, in conjunction with the recently voter-approved sales tax, is projected to provide a new revenue source for the city,” a staff report to the council states.

“If the maximum number of businesses are allowed, the estimated annual tax revenue would be about $400,000, with the bulk of the revenue from the retail cannabis businesses,” the report says. “The annual revenue could be greater depending on the size and success of the retail establishments.”

If the ordinance is introduced Monday night, it’s scheduled to be adopted by the council Dec. 7 and go into effect Jan. 7, which is when the businesses could start applying to the city.

Currently, the city’s zoning ordinance prohibits commercial cannabis uses, except for deliveries, which the state requires cities to allow.

Had Measure I failed, the City Council would have abandoned its plans to start allowing commercial cannabis businesses.

But in the latest semi-official final results Thursday, the measure was winning formidably: 42,251 votes, 71.86% of the total, in favor; 16,548 votes, 28.14% of the total, against…

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