Supervisors prohibit cannabis stores in unincorporated SCV areas

Marijuana. Katharine Lotze/Signal
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No pot shops will be opening in unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County after the Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance at their meeting on Tuesday.

The ruling affects areas in the Santa Clarita which sit outside the city limits of Santa Clarita.

County supervisors voted unanimously in favor of an ordinance that does not allow commercial cannabis “businesses and activities” in county-operated areas. Before the ordinance was passed, the county had a moratorium in the meantime to prohibit these retail stores from opening.

“It made permanent what the supervisors supported earlier,” Tony Bell, Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s Communication Deputy said.

On February 7, Supervisor Barger proposed a motion to have the Department of Regional Planning study regulations that would address the board’s concerns regarding anticipated challenges with cannabis stores. This comes after Proposition 64 legalized recreational marijuana use in California in the November election.

“Supervisor Barger believes strongly that there are many challenges that come with this legalization in California, particularly on counties who need to determine how best to initiate regulations to protect public safety, the environment and quality of life,” Bell said.

The city of Santa Clarita currently has a moratorium until November prohibiting marijuana retail stores from opening in city limits. When the moratorium is up, the city council will reevaluate and discuss next steps.

Mayor Cameron Smyth said he does not think the county’s ruling on Tuesday has much of an impact on what the city does, but said he agrees with the ordinance.

“I have never felt the city should ever support retail shops for medicinal or recreational marijuana,” Smyth said. “For the county putting that in an ordinance, it seems to be aligned what I believe.”

According to the mayor, city staff is continuing to research what other cities are doing regarding marijuana regulation.

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