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November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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Local

City of Solana Beach
Measure S Initiative from the People - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results

Failing

3,265 votes yes (38.2%)

5,276 votes no (61.8%)

Shall a proposed ordinance amending Solana Beach Municipal Code to Repeal Current Prohibitions Entirely and Allow Commercial Cannabis (Marijuana) Retailers in Non-Residential Zones and Marijuana Deliveries and Certain Cultivation in all Zones in the City of Solana Beach be adopted?

What is this proposal?

Pros & Cons — Unbiased explanation with arguments for and against

Information provided by League of Women Voters North County San Diego

The Question

Should the City of Solana Beach authorize, regulate, and tax commercial cannabis business in the City?

The Situation

In 2016, the voters of California passed Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, that allowed both medical and recreational use of cannabis by adults over 21 and older but gave cities the ability to regulate commercial cannabis activities. Currently, Solana Beach prohibits all cannabis-related business and cultivation for both medical and non-medical usage.

The Proposal

Measure S  would authorize the repeal of Title 17, Chapter 17.60.190 of the Solana Beach Municipal Code which prohibits all marijuana related activities and cultivation and replace it with a new ordinance authorizing, regulating, and taxing commercial cannabis business in the City of Solana Beach.

 

Measure S was placed on the ballot by a petition from Solana Beach voters.  If passed, Measure S could only be amended, changed, or repealed by another vote of the people.

Measure S authorizes 2 commercial marijuana dispensaries in non-residential zones, to be open daily and home delivery to all zones of the City.  Dispensaries could be located 600 feet or more from public schools or from other dispensaries.  There is no distance restriction from private schools, daycare centers, or youth and community centers.

To open a dispensary under Measure S, an applicant must pay a $2,500 application fee and participate in the Measure’s  business ranking process. 

 

Measure S allows indoor medicinal marijuana cultivation of 12 plants per qualified person with a maximum allowed of 24 plants on any premises.  Medical marijuana cultivation would be allowed 1,000 or more feet from schools, community centers, parks, but prohibited on the premises of any religious or youth-oriented facility or childcare center. 

A Yes vote would repeal the prohibitions on all cannabis activities and allow specified cannabis businesses and cultivation.

A No vote would keep the existing prohibitions on cannabis activities in place.

Fiscal effect

Measure S has a fixed tax rate of 1.25% for non-Medical Cannabis and non-Medical Cannabis product sales. However, the Solana Beach City Attorney states that provisions of the measure may be inconsistent with state law and could be invalidated.  Additionally, the measure does not contain provisions to tax medical marijuana sales and deliveries or provide for business use tax

The application fee of $2,500 was established without a fee study and cannot be modified by the City.

Supporters say

61% of Solana Beach voters passed Prop 64 to allow for recreational and medical cannabis activities. but no businesses are yet allowed in the city.

Solana Beach  residents deserve to have safe cannabis purchasing from a regulated source, without travel outside of the City. The City would also benefit from cannabis taxes. 

 

Cannabis based therapies for adults and kids are recognized as treatments for multiple medical conditions.

 

Studies show legalizing cannabis typically results in lower use by teens and a reduction in crime. 

Opponents say

With a citizens’ initiative, the Council and the public lose local control and cannot make any needed changes or revisions without another initiative.

The measure does not require separation of marijuana dispensaries from private schools, daycare, playgrounds, youth facilities, or churches.

 

Marijuana dispensaries can operate in any non-residential zone for15 hours daily. Marijuana cultivation is allowed in all zones. 

 

82% of CA cities do not allow pot shops in part because of regulatory costs, potential crime, and risk to youth. Solana Beach cannot increase fees or recoup costs if additional enforcement is needed.

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

Voting “yes” repeals current prohibitions entirely and allows commercial marijuana retailers in non-residential zones and marijuana deliveries and certain cultivation in all zones in Solana Beach without clearly enforceable taxes.

NO vote means

Voting “no” leaves in place existing City ordinances and prohibitions.

Summary

Source: Solana Beach City Attorney's Office / Solana Beach City Clerk's Office

AN INITIATIVE AMENDING SOLANA BEACH MUNICIPAL CODE TO REPEAL CURRENT PROHIBITIONS ENTIRELY AND ALLOW COMMERCIAL CANNABIS (MARIJUANA) RETAILERS IN NON-RESIDENTIAL ZONES AND MARIJUANA DELIVERIES AND CERTAIN CULTIVATION IN ALL ZONES IN THE CITY OF SOLANA BEACH

Currently, all commercial cannabis activities, including marijuana dispensaries, sales, deliveries, cultivation and processing are prohibited in the City of Solana Beach, consistent with state and federal law. This initiative would repeal existing prohibitions and authorize two marijuana dispensaries without size restrictions in office professional, general commercial, special commercial, light commercial and light industrial zones (a combined land area of 0.3 square miles). Every dispensary could sell medical marijuana and/or adult use (recreational) marijuana. Marihuana activities permissible under the initiative are currently illegal under federal law. The initiative allows indoor non-medical cultivation pursuant to state law and a 1.25% tax on recreational marijuana sales. It does not tax medical marijuana sales or deliveries. The initiative allows cannabis businesses to open between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. every day of the week and allows deliveries of marijuana at all hours to every home and business in every zone with five orders permitted per trip and no restriction on the number of trips, delivery vehicles or total deliveries. Dispensaries would not be located within 600 feet of one another or a public school, but could be located near private schools, daycare centers or youth and community centers.

The initiative allows artificial lighting to keep immature marijuana plants alive and permits the sale of up to six plants per person per transaction with no limits on the number of transactions per day. It prohibits cultivation at the dispensaries, but allows personal indoor marijuana cultivation consistent with California law and medical marijuana cultivation of 12 plants per qualified patient and up to 24 marijuana plants per premises if two qualified patients reside therein. The initiative allows parolees and probationers to live on premises where marijuana is being grown with written confirmation of their allowed medical marijuana use. Medical marijuana cultivation would not be allowed within 1,000 feet of schools, community centers or parks and not on premises with any religious or youth-oriented facilities or child care center. The initiative includes operational conditions on commercial marijuana activities, including signage, security cameras, alarm systems, business records maintenance for two years, and separate lobby and counter spaces.

The initiative establishes a $2,500 application fee without a fee study. It includes a process under which the City of Solana Beach would be required to rank marijuana business applicants’ floor plans, product mixes and business models. Applicants would describe how they will cater to visitors and represent Solana Beach in their marijuana businesses. The initiative would allow minors who are qualified patients to enter dispensaries if accompanied by a parent or guardian. If any of the initiative’s provisions are declared unconstitutional, the initiative’s remaining provisions would stay in effect to the fullest extent possible.

If the initiative passes, it can only be amended or repealed by a vote of the people.

 

https://www.ci.solana-beach.ca.us/vertical/Sites/%7B840804C2-F869-4904-9AE3-720581350CE7%7D/uploads/CI_-18-003_0_Cannabis_-_Ballot_Title_and_Summary.pdf

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Solana Beach City Attorney's Office / Solana Beach City Clerk's Office

CITY ATTORNEY’S IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS – MEASURE S

Currently, all commercial cannabis activities, including marijuana retailers, dispensaries, sales, deliveries, cultivation and processing are prohibited in the City of Solana Beach, consistent with state and federal law. This measure would repeal existing prohibitions and authorize two marijuana dispensaries without size restrictions in office professional (OP), general commercial (C), special commercial (SC), light commercial (LC) and light industrial (LI) zones (a combined land area of 0.3 square miles). Every commercial dispensary could sell medical marijuana and adult use (recreational) marijuana between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. every day of the week. Marijuana deliveries would be allowed at all hours to every home and business in every zone with no restriction on the number of trips, delivery vehicles or total deliveries.

Marihuana [sic] activities permissible under the measure are currently illegal under federal law. Certain provisions of the measure may be found inconsistent with state law. The imposition and collection of the 1.25% “sales tax” is not authorized by the Adult Use Marijuana Act and its validity under Revenue & Taxation Code §7285.9 is questionable. The measure does not propose to tax medical marijuana sales or deliveries, nor provide for a business use tax as allowed under Revenue and Taxation Code §34021.5.

If the measure passes, should any of its provisions be declared unconstitutional, the remaining provisions would stay in effect.

The measure establishes a $2,500 application fee without a fee study, while other jurisdictions require an initial $10,000 cost recovery deposit. It provides an application and ranking process that the City of Solana Beach must follow and cannot change. Applicants describe how they will cater to visitors and represent Solana Beach in their marijuana businesses.

The measure allows minors who are qualified patients to enter dispensaries with a parent/ guardian. It allows indoor non-medical marijuana cultivation and permits sales of up to six plants with no limits on the number of transactions per day. While it prohibits cultivation onsite at dispensaries, the measure allows personal indoor marijuana cultivation and medical marijuana cultivation of 12 plants per qualified patient and up to 24 marijuana plants per premises. It allows parolees and probationers to live on premises where marijuana is being grown with written confirmation of their allowed medical marijuana use. Medical marijuana cultivation would be allowed 1,000 feet or more from schools, community centers or parks and not on premises with any religious or youth-oriented facilities or childcare centers. Dispensaries could be located more than 600 feet of one another or public schools, but without distance restrictions near private schools, daycare centers or youth and community centers.

The measure was placed on the ballot by a petition signed by the requisite number of voters. If the measure passes, it can only be changed, amended, or repealed by a vote of the people.

Voting “yes” repeals current prohibitions entirely and allows commercial marijuana retailers in non-residential zones and marijuana deliveries and certain cultivation in all zones in Solana Beach without clearly enforceable taxes. Voting “no” leaves in place existing City ordinances and prohibitions.

Johanna N. Canlas, City Attorney
City of Solana Beach

https://www.ci.solana-beach.ca.us/vertical/Sites/%7B840804C2-F869-4904-9AE3-720581350CE7%7D/uploads/Impartial_Analysis_Cannabis_Initiative_FINAL_(8-12-20)_-_AI_formatted.pdf

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Solana Beach Ballot Measure S November 3, 2020 Election
Arguments in support or opposition of the proposed laws are the opinions of the authors.

 

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE S

In 2016 California voters voted to normalize cannabis policy by adopting Proposition 64 which, together with the actions of our State Legislature, de-criminalized the use of cannabis and allowed adults to exercise their freedom of choice on whether to use cannabis or not.

Nothing in this Initiative would require any person to use cannabis.

In fact, 61% of Solana Beach residents supported Prop 64!

Elected city leaders have completely ignored the will of the voters for the past 4 years – furthering the “Nanny State”. It is now time for Solana Beach voters to act!

The Cannabis Nurse Network is an organization that includes nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. We use cannabis-based therapies with our patients - both adults and kids - successfully for multiple medical conditions including: Cancer, Pain, MS, Diabetes, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, Autism, ADHD, Epileptic Seizure Disorders, and many other conditions. In fact, the US Government obtained a patent on the medical benefits of cannabis 20 years ago!

Studies show that legalizing cannabis typically results in lower use by teens and reduction in crime. Retail dispensaries are heavily regulated and require specific security measures much like a bank with security guards, surveillance video and ID verification.

Solana Beach residents should not have to travel distances to exercise their right to use cannabis. In fact, without this Initiative, Solana Beach residents are currently buying their cannabis from other cities with all of the tax benefits going elsewhere.

OUR Solana Beach community deserves to have a safe and regulated cannabis program for medical or adult use in commercial or industrial zones for OUR residents with ALL of the tax revenues paying for OUR parks and OUR city budget, not the City of San Diego.

EXERCISE YOUR FREEDOM OF CHOICE BY VOTING YES ON S!

/signed/

Nurse Heather Manus, RN
President, Cannabis Nurse Network

Ken Sobel
Vice President, Grow for Vets

Monica Mendoza
Solana Beach Resident

 

https://www.ci.solana-beach.ca.us/vertical/Sites/%7B840804C2-F869-4904-9AE3-720581350CE7%7D/uploads/FOR_Argument_-_Measure_S.pdf

— Solana Beach City Clerk's Office

Arguments AGAINST

Solana Beach Ballot Measure S for November 3, 2020 Election
Arguments in support or opposition of the proposed laws are the opinions of the authors.

 

ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE S

Measure S is not about the choice to use marijuana.

It’s about a special interest group -- the marijuana industry -- establishing retail pot shops where they choose, on their own terms, exempt from City regulation. It adds 33 pages of unchangeable language to local ordinances, drafted by and benefitting the marijuana industry. It renders the Council and public powerless to engage in the usual vetting, discussion, mitigation and review processes, taking away local and public control. Local control was the reason the city incorporated in 1986.

If approved, not a word can be amended without a public vote at taxpayer cost of approximately $200,000.

Contrary to what signature gatherers erroneously claimed, the measure does not safeguard kids or schools. It requires only that pot shops be 600-feet from Public schools but requires NO separation from private schools, daycare centers, playgrounds, youth facilities, or churches.

The ABC can deny an alcohol license within 600 feet of public playgrounds and youth facilities. This measure prevents Solana Beach from doing the same with pot shops.

Marijuana storefronts -- with NO size restrictions -- are allowed in any non-residentially zoned area. The City must permit them to operate 15 hours daily. Marijuana cultivation is allowed in all zones.

A Colorado study found that neighborhoods with commercial marijuana activity saw crime increase up to 1,452% higher than those without. If such problems materialize, Solana Beach cannot increase fees or recoup costs for additional enforcement.

Regulatory costs, potential crime, and risk to youth are just some of the reasons that 82% of California cities do not allow pot shops.

This measure undercuts City authority and the right of Solana Beach residents to weigh in on decisions that impact our neighborhoods, community character, and ability to raise children in a drug-free environment.

Vote NO on Measure S.

/signed/

Debra H. Schade, PhD
Vice President – Board of Education
Solana Beach School District

David A. Zito
Councilmember – City of Solana Beach

Kelly Harless
Councilmember, City of Solana Beach

Lori Taylor, M.D.
Pediatrician

Lisa M. Montes
Community Leader / Retired Educator

 

https://www.ci.solana-beach.ca.us/vertical/Sites/%7B840804C2-F869-4904-9AE3-720581350CE7%7D/uploads/AGAINST_Argument_-_Meas_S.pdf

— Solana Beach City Clerk's Office

Replies to Arguments FOR

Solana Beach Ballot Measure S for November 3, 2020 Election 
Arguments in support or opposition of the proposed laws are the opinions of the authors.

 

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE S

Measure S is NOT about Prop. 64 which was about PERSONAL use and growing 6 plants in private homes.

Measure S IS about retail marijuana businesses being forced on cities who did NOT ask for them. Prop 64 was not a mandate to California’s cities to create marijuana businesses. In fact at least 80% of California cities do not.

Measure S highjacks the City’s normal review, vetting and decision-making processes.

Measure S takes away the choice of Solana Beach citizens to determine what they want in local business and residential areas.

Measure S is not necessary to ensure access to marijuana since Solana Beach citizens can possess and grow. Access to every conceivable type of marijuana product is a computer click away.

Measure S has a fixed and UNCHANGEABLE tax rate of 1.25%. That wouldn’t even begin to cover the cost of reviewing, permitting and regulating marijuana businesses. California does not have, nor will Solana Beach have the capacity to ensure product safety or enforce the laws without costly city oversight programs such as testing facilities and forensic auditing.

Measure S does not remove the health impacts of marijuana when it’s smoked and vaped, especially in this era of COVID, a primarily respiratory disease.

Measure S will not prevent diversion to youth. Marijuana businesses in Solana Beach will signal to teens that its use is normal, safe and without negative health impacts.

Exercise your freedom of choice by voting No on S. Keep our land use decisions in Solana Beach, not in the hands of profit-motivated out-of-towners.

/signed/

Julie Union
President Board of Education 
Solana Beach School District

Peggy Walker 
30-year Resident/ Public Health Educator

Dana King Sr. V.P. Liquid Envir. Solutions/ 
Solana Beach School Board

Judith S. Hegenauer, PhD 
Councilmember, Solana Beach, Deputy Mayor

Theo Harder, Jr. 
Consultant / Resident 35 yrs.

 

https://www.ci.solana-beach.ca.us/vertical/Sites/%7B840804C2-F869-4904-9AE3-720581350CE7%7D/uploads/Rebuttal_to_Argument_In_Favor_of_Measure_S.pdf

— Solana Beach City Clerk's Office

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Solana Beach Ballot Measure S for November 3, 2020 Election
Arguments in support or opposition of the proposed laws are the opinions of the authors.

 

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE S

Opponents of Measure S are using scare tactics and false information in a desperate attempt to defy the will of SB voters who voted overwhelmingly 4 years ago in favor of an adult cannabis program.

  • In reality, recent crime studies show that “adding a dispensary to a neighborhood…decreases changes in crime by 19% relative to the average crime rate.” Regional Science and Urban Economics (8/2019).
  • A 2018 study showed San Diego dispensaries were 2 times SAFER than a 24-hour diner, and 3 times SAFER than a Liquor Barn. 
  • The fact is Measure S will only allow two (2) retail dispensaries in SB. (You can’t have less than that without creating a monopoly).
  • Once adopted, the City retains full control to add to that number if they so choose. 
  • State law already requires 600’ separation between a dispensary and “schools (public or private), day care centers and youth centers”.
  • Solana Beach has 62 alcohol licenses and about 10 pharmacies. Alcohol and Opioids caused more than 100,000 deaths last year; cannabis has NEVER caused a single overdose death. 
  • Cannabis is a low impact “green” business according to the 500-page California Cannabis Program Environmental Impact Report.
  • The 2 dispensaries will occupy about 2,000 sq. ft. each which is less than .0003% of the existing buildings in business zones in Solana Beach.
  • New cannabis business will provide 100+ jobs and generate new tax revenues and spending in Solana Beach.

EXERCISE YOUR FREEDOM OF CHOICE BY VOTING YES ON S!

Nurse Heather Manus, RN
Former Medical Director for
Sacred Gardens Dispensary

Ken Sobel
Former Law Professor and Drafter of
US Virgin Islands Cannabis Law

Monica Mendoza
Solana Beach Mom

 

https://www.ci.solana-beach.ca.us/vertical/Sites/%7B840804C2-F869-4904-9AE3-720581350CE7%7D/uploads/Rebuttal_to_Argumnent_Against.pdf

— Solana Beach City Clerk's Office

More information

Videos (2)

— September 18, 2020 League of Women Voters of North County San Diego
Unbiased information about 7 local measures on the Nov 3, 2020 ballot in North County communities. Discussion of Measure S begins 24 minutes and 7 seconds into the video.
Información no partidista sobre las 7 medidas locales para las comunidades de Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside y Solana Beach en el norte del condado de San Diego en la boleta para las elecciones generales, el 3 de Noviembre 2020. La sección sobre la medida S comienza a los 20:25.
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Who supports or opposes this measure?

Yes on Measure S
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No on Measure S

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