Hemp is about to be legal under the 2018 farm bill. You can’ get high from it — but you can wear it

|Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), who has crafted cannabis regulations, said the licensing system had not yet lived up to its promise.

The state licensing process this past year has been a painful one,” said Wood, adding that the complex rules are particularly difficult for small businesses. “I recognize that this has been a significant undertaking for the state, and you combine that with the cannabis industry learning how to navigate the process — it’s been difficult for them both.”

The legalization of recreational pot has also created tension in areas of the state where cannabis growers are operating close to residents.

Jesse Jones said he moved his family to Petaluma from Marin County six months ago so his three children could enjoy more open space, but he is now fighting a proposal for a cannabis farm to operate a few hundred feet from his home, in part because of safety issues.

“You are going to have what is still a [Schedule 1] narcotic being produced in line of sight of my kids’ trampoline, on a shared road that was never intended for this type of commercial operation,” said Jones, an energy industry executive.

Sanjay Bagai, a former investment banker who lives with his family next door to a new cannabis farm in Sonoma County, is a leader of a residents group called Save Our Sonoma Neighborhoods, which has obtained a preliminary court ruling against one cannabis-growing operation.

Bagai said his group was “not anti-cannabis” but added that pot cultivation “is not something that fits into our neighborhood here.”

“The smell is horrific,” he said of the marijuana plants. “It’s like rotting flesh. And the traffic is insane.”

Quality-of-life complaints have also surfaced in neighborhoods where cannabis sellers have set up shop.

Van Nuys Neighborhood Council President George Thomas said he had received about a dozen complaints in the last year from residents living near pot stores who were concerned about loitering, the smell of marijuana smoke and other issues. Thomas, who is the publisher of the Van Nuys News Press and is an LAPD volunteer, passes complaints on to police officers.

“If they are not in compliance,” Thomas said, “if they are within a thousand feet of a school or church, we are totally against them and we are happy to work with the neighborhood prosecutor in the city attorney’s office to shut them down.”

By Kurtis Lee  Dec 19, 2018


Source:  http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-marijuana-year-anniversary-review-20181227-story.html

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