STEPHEN PAULSEN….March 15, 2017
After prohibiting medical marijuana for more than two decades, the Southern California town of La Mesa has recently become the site of an unexpected cannabis boom.
In November, the San Diego suburb passed a ballot initiative, Measure U, allowing medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation centers, and manufacturing sites within city limits. In doing so, it lifted a ban that had been in place since the passage of California’s first statewide medical cannabis law in 1996. La Mesa (pop. 57,065) became the third city in San Diego County to welcome cannabis businesses. (Well, technically it tied for second—Lemon Grove, La Mesa’s neighbor to the south, also legalized dispensaries on Nov. 8.)
The change unleashed a green rush, and the ensuing scramble has sparked tensions between cannabis speculators and some La Mesa residents.
Although California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana, the state has never really regulated the plant. For decades, state lawmakers left it to local governments to set their own licensing regulations and zoning rules on grow sites and dispensaries.
Many cities chose simply to ban them, but those ordinances often backfired. Dispensaries simply operated without licenses, sapping law enforcement resources and giving local governments zero regulatory oversight—and no tax revenue.
the remainder of the article can be found at: https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/investor-rush-follows-california-towns-cannabis-vote