On Thursday June 25th at 10:00 am at Vallejo City Hall 555 Santa Clara Street, Patients & Activists will submit over 9,000 signatures to the City Clerk to stop the bad ordinance that the City Council rushed into 30 days ago on May 26. A Rally and Press Conference will be held by Re-Start Vallejo (a coalition of tax-paying medical cannabis dispensaries that who pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes to the City—or did until the City Council stopped accepting) and by Vallejo Patients Alliance (a group of patients and activists who promote community awareness and unity for the City of Vallejo’s Medicinal Cannabis patients).
A month ago, several members of the City Council wanted to slow down and have an intelligent deliberative process—even during the second reading of the ordinance when it would have normally been automatically voted in. But they were thwarted by the City Attorney who is biased against medical cannabis. She told them that they had to vote that night and could not take the time to do their job carefully and thoughtfully. Reluctantly they did so. A bare majority approved this unworkable law rather than take the time to do it right by respecting the dispensaries that have paid taxes consistently, and instead just throwing them away after using them and leading them on.
But thanks to Re-Start Vallejo (RSV), the City Council once again has a chance to take a little time and do it right.
RSV supports strict regulations and operating standards, including prohibited activities, and locational controls, such as those that the City has proposed. But RSV does not support a system that closes all the tax-paying dispensaries who have not violated any city law—and then allows the City to hand out permits to a select few applicants. Such a system is inherently unfair: it punishes those who have played by the rules and paid by them too. Those dispensaries should receive permits if they are willing to abide by reasonable regulations, standards, prohibitions, and locational controls.
The City Council should work with RSV to enact a workable system that will provide control and regulation in a manner that is fair to the dispensaries that have cooperated with their regulations—which so far have included taxes and inspections. This does not need to be difficult and contentious. It could be quite smooth and straightforward: the City of Sacramento just finished licensing 30 dispensaries without a single lawsuit or petition campaign and with a steady annual tax revenue that now exceeds $2.8 million. By the City’s own estimates, there are no more than 14 tax-paying dispensaries currently operating in Vallejo.