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Oakland City Council Approves Cannabis Regulation Measure

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- The Oakland City Council has unanimously approved amendments authored by Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan to move forward with adult use permits and temporary local authorizations for regulating and taxing cannabis.

Kaplan said her amendments include making sure that approvals for cannabis manufacturing, cultivation and sales don't get stuck in the city's Revenue and Planning departments due to cross-departmental delays and protecting applicant information from the federal government.

Kaplan said it was important for the City Council to vote on Tuesday night to approve taxing and permitting cannabis sales for adults in Oakland because California is about to make cannabis sales legal for adults in January.

Kaplan said many California cities have chosen to ban cannabis facilities and others are enmeshed in lengthy ongoing debates, so the council's action means that Oakland has now passed a revised cannabis ordinance and is positioned to be one of the few cities in the state that are prepared to have licensed adult-use sales by January, when the new law goes into effect.

Under Proposition 64, the so-called "Adult Use of Marijuana Act" that was approved by the state's voters last year, California will allow the sale of cannabis to people aged 21 or older.

But Kaplan said businesses can't actually sell cannabis unless they get permits from their local city.

She said the council's vote on Tuesday night means that Oakland cannabis businesses can now quality for state and local authorization.

"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," Kaplan said in a statement.

Kaplan said the 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," she said.

"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," Kaplan said.

TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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