The Gilbert Town Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an anti-marijuana ordinance that partially bans recreational marijuana stores and sale. Feature photo source: Flickr
This decision comes just weeks before the November 3rd elections where the legalization and taxation of recreational marijuana will be on the ballot in Montana, South Dakota, Arizona and New Jersey.
Gilbert Town Council Imposes Partial Recreational Marijuana Prohibition
During a Gilbert town meeting on October 13, the council deliberated and adopted the ordinance that would prohibit retail marijuana establishments if the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, passes on the November ballot.
What The Gilbert Town Ordinance Entails
The ordinance passed in Gilbert town prohibits recreational marijuana retail establishments and testing facilities from setting up shop in the town.
This means testing facilities are prohibited in the town as well as the use, sale, cultivation, manufacturing, production, storage and distribution of marijuana on the property the town occupies, owns, controls or operates.
The ordinance, however, allows for the sale of recreational marijuana from the only existing and operational medical marijuana dispensary in the town called Curaleaf.
Curaleaf Supports The Gilbert Town Ordinance
Curaleaf Holdings is a Massachusetts company that produces, processes and sells cannabis through dispensaries in 18 states.
Back in July this year, Curaleaf was named the world’s biggest cannabis company by sales with an expected annual revenue of $1 billion.
A representative from Curaleaf was present at Gilbert’s town council meeting on Tuesday and was the only person who spoke aloud on the topic.
Lindsay Schube, Curaleaf’s attorney, gave her support for the ordinance.
“If we do become a dual license facility, just want to ensure that we can continue our great partnership with the town of Gilbert,” she said.
Schube clarified that the ban has Curaleaf’s support as long as the company’s current and future operations aren’t impacted.
The Gilbert Ordinance Gets Unanimous Support From The Town Council
The decision about the approval of the ordinance was unanimous. This is despite the 78 out of 81 public comment cards that had been handed in prior to the meeting that were against it.
“The council does not know the number for or against a public hearing item until that agenda item is reached,” Vice Mayor Yung Koprowski wrote in an email Wednesday. “Last night only one person requested to speak aloud on the topic.”
Marijuana As A Health Threat To Gilbert Town
The Gilbert town council has banned the sale of recreational marijuana in an attempt to protect public health, safety, and welfare of its dwellers.
The ordinance specifies that “The Town finds that proposition 207 authorizes marijuana establishments and testing facilities to use chemical extraction or chemical synthesis, including butane and other flammable gases, to extract marijuana concentrate, which poses a threat to the health, safety, and security of the community and increases the responsibilities of law enforcement and other Town departments to respond to violations of state and local laws, including building, electrical, plumbing and fire codes.”
Proposition 207 Supports Legalized Recreational Marijuana in Arizona
The newly issued ordinance will only take effect if the Smart and Safe Arizona Act dubbed Proposition 207 passes into law on Nov 3.
Proposition 207, also known as the ‘pot prop’, is the law that would allow the sale, possession and use of 1 ounce of recreational marijuana in Arizona to people aged 21 and over.
The Arizona Secretary of State’s Office defines Proposition 207 as ‘The law would allow limited marijuana possession, use, and cultivation by adults 21 or older; amend criminal penalties for marijuana possession; ban smoking marijuana in public; impose a 16% excise tax on marijuana sales to fund public programs; authorize state/local regulation of marijuana licensees; and allow expungement of marijuana offense’.
Proposition 207 still bans the consumption of marijuana in public spaces, something the Gilbert ordinance maintains.
Proposition 207 is the next big win for Arizona coming nearly a decade after medical marijuana was legalized in the state. Currently, only 11 states have legalized recreational use of cannabis for adults.
Proposition 207 Supporters and Opponents Arguments
Supporters of Proposition 207 argue that legalized marijuana will create more harmony in the community and enhance safety by eliminating the black market.
Opponents of Proposition 2017, however, argue that legalizing marijuana will give minors access to the drug