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Oakland City Council approves industrial marijuana facilities

Sunday, July 25, 2010 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: oakland, marijuana facilities, health news

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(NaturalNews) In states where medicinal marijuana is permitted, legal dispensaries usually obtain the drug from small backyard growers and distribute it to patients with prescriptions. But the Oakland, Calif. City Council recently took marijuana production to the next level when it approved the construction and operation of potentially four industrial-size marijuana production facilities within city limits.

The decision lands Oakland as the first California city to approve of such facilities, and, according to a recent Los Angeles Times report, the nearby city of Berkeley has a similar measure on its ballot in November.

"This is a monumental step forward. It really means moving into the era of industrial-scale operations, and Oakland means to do it big," explained Dale Gieringer, an Oakland resident and head of California NORML, a marijuana advocacy group, to Los Angeles Times reporters.

The new ordinance seems to make sense in a state that permits medicinal marijuana use, but not everyone thinks the plan is a good idea. Local marijuana growers argued with officials that the new operations will destroy their business and turn Oakland "into the Silicon Valley of weed by creating a fertile environment for entrepreneurs."

Oakland's city attorney is also concerned that the facilities are not technically legal, even under state law. And since existing dispensaries are often raided by federal agents, there is no telling what will happen to the new facilities once operational. So many feel the proposal is very risky.

Officials expect hundreds of people to apply for each of the four available permit slots.

Sources for this story include:



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