15 November 2016
SF Gate reports today….
Cannabis experts and their allies packed Oakland City Hall for a raucous public hearing Monday night, at which the City Council voted to re-craft a set of controversial pot laws it passed in May.
After a four-hour debate, the council voted 4-3 to direct the city administrator to write new laws and significantly revise an equity permit program that sets aside half of Oakland’s pot permits for ex-convicts and a small number of East Oakland residents. Its members also scrapped plans to force cannabis businesses to hand over 25 percent of their profits to the city, and to require pot retailers to pay back taxes and hefty $10,000-a-day fines.
The vote fell along political lines, with council members Dan Kalb, Annie Campbell Washington, Rebecca Kaplan and Abel Guillen in favor of changing the program, and council members Desley Brooks, Larry Reid and Noel Gallo dissenting. Councilwoman Lynette Gibson McElhaney was absent.
The council also requested a comprehensive analysis from the city’s Department of Race and Equity before the laws come back for a vote in January.