OAKLAND, CA – Tonight, Oakland City Council unanimously voted to advance adult use cannabis, with amendments authored by Councilmember Kaplan to ensure effective implementation. Councilmember Kaplan’s amendments include: the community request to make sure approvals don’t get stuck in Revenue and Planning departments due to cross-departmental delays, and protecting applicant information from the Federal government.
Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, who has been a leader in regulating and taxing cannabis, authored the nation’s first cannabis tax in 2009, which was placed on the ballot by the Council and passed overwhelmingly by Oakland voters.
Under Proposition 64, California will allow the sale of cannabis to Californians age 21 and over, but businesses can’t actually sell cannabis unless they get permits from their local city. By passing this legislation, Oakland cannabis businesses can now qualify for state and local authorization.
Kaplan says: “By permitting and taxing cannabis manufacturing, cultivation, and sales, Oakland will be better positioned to fund expansion of vital public services, including homeless solutions, and to remedy illegal dumping which threatens public health. Tonight’s vote made clear that Oakland will not miss the opportunity to bring in vitally needed tax dollars, by harnessing California’s coming legalization of cannabis for adult use. The people of Oakland voted overwhelmingly to support the legalization, taxation, and regulation of cannabis, and our city has successfully provided permitted medical cannabis dispensaries for over a decade — leading the nation in this effort. Now, as Adult Use cannabis sales are about to become legal in California, Oakland has built on this work by providing for adult use sales, in compliance with state and local laws.”
As many California cities have chosen to ban cannabis facilities, and others are enmeshed in lengthy ongoing debates, tonight’s action means that Oakland has now passed our revised cannabis ordinance, and is positioned to be one of the few cities in California prepared to have licensed adult-use sales by January 2018, when the State law allowing them goes into effect.