21 September 2016

As our readers  know we don’t usually comment on developments but this does seem a somewhat bizarre and untenable concept and as both the newspaper and state Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland both point out the move would not be legal

Here’s the introduction to the report and we very much suggest linking through to read the whole piece because if the idea gets legs you can be assured there’ll be plenty of cities and counties throughout California who’d love to run with an idea like this

The SF Chronicle write..

But the move would not be legal, according to state Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, the lawmaker who was lead author of the state’s marijuana regulations, which were signed into law a year ago.

That’s not stopping council members Desley Brooks, Larry Reid and Noel Gallo from pushing their plan to force cannabis businesses to give the city one-quarter of their ownership and at least one seat on their boards of directors — in exchange for an operating permit. Such permits are required under the state Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act that established regulations for marijuana businesses as the state heads toward legalization of recreational pot.

“We’ll be able to use a resource that generates millions” of dollars, Gallo said, explaining his support for the proposal that would amend Oakland’s cannabis laws. The plan is to be discussed by the City Council’s Public Safety Committee next week. “I’ll be able to get specific services that I need in East Oakland. If I were to rely on the general budget, I would never get them.”

Gallo, Brooks and Reid say their proposal would generate revenue for the city to fund district activities, community beautification and loans for aspiring business owners who the council members say were hurt by the U.S. war on drugs. Additionally, the city would dole out some of the new revenue to three community job-training programs that are run by politically connected people. One of them, the Hispanic Engineers, Builders & Contractors of California, has no website or state records, and is run by a childhood friend of Gallo’s.

In a memo sent Friday to the Public Safety Committee, the council members say they came up with the proposal to “ensure equity and fairness” in a “burgeoning” cannabis industry. Brooks, who according to Gallo was the proposal’s main author, has previously claimed that systemic racism gives some cannabis operators a head start, while others are shut out.

In addition to requiring pot businesses to share revenue, the proposal would require business permits to be given to pot entrepreneurs who have lived in Oakland for at least five years.

Brooks and Reid did not return phone calls on Monday.

Bonta said the proposal raises legal concerns.

“The idea of a transfer of 25 percent ownership and one seat on the board raises significant concerns about prohibited taking and about whether this is an appropriate use of eminent domain,” Bonta told The Chronicle on Monday. “If the city is an owner, it’s also a regulator. So it’s regulating itself.”

Bonta also noted that state laws prohibit public entities, like cities, from having a stake in businesses, both nonprofit and for profit…

Read on for full report here