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Lynwood council approves marijuana ordinance

LYNWOOD — On a 3-1 vote Dec. 6, the City Council here approved the first reading of an ordinance that would regulate businesses that grow and manufacture medical marijuana within city limits.

The ordinance would allow up to five such businesses.

The ordinance will need to have at least one more reading before becoming law, which will take place on Dec. 20.

Council members José-Luis Solache, Aide Castro and Maria Teresa Santillan-Beas voted in support of the resolution, while Sal Alatorre was the dissenting vote. Edwin Hernandez was not present.

If approved, the Lynwood ordinance would allow the licensing of up to five properties to grow or manufacture marijuana at any given time.

Those properties could not be within 600 feet of a school or day care center or within 50 feet of a residential zone.

Aaron Herzberg of CalCann Holdings, a marijuana real estate company, said Lynwood becomes the first city in Los Angeles County to explicitly license the growing, manufacture and extraction of marijuana.

By Herzberg’s estimates, the ordinance could generate as much as $5 million in tax revenue for the city per year.

The action comes as other cities are trying to come to grips with the passage of Proposition 64 in November that legalized the recreational use of marijuana by adults over 21.

The city of Bellflower Nov. 28 placed a measure on the city’s March 7 ballot to allow voters to decide of marijuana should be taxed by the city. Final details of that measure are expected to be approved by the city council sometime in January.

Norwalk has paced a moratorium on all marijuana operations within its city limits until the city staff can come up with a plan to handle any sales outlets or requests for permits to grow plants, which are allowed under Proposition 64.

The Norwalk moratorium expires at the end of December but the council is expected to extend that for at least a year.

In March, the Huntington Park City Council voted to allow up to three medical marijuana dispensaries to open within the city.

An application process began the following month. Those hoping to obtain one of the three permits were required to pay a nonrefundable $5,000 application fee.

Those seeking permits to sell marijuana also must apply for state permits, according to Proposition 64. However, the state doesn’t intend to issue permits until January 2018.