Oakland, Calif. to decide on marijuana “factory farms”

Cash-strapped city eyes millions in new taxes

City Council in Oakland, Calif. will decide today on a proposal by local entrepreneurs to build four large marijuana farms. Proponents argue that current operations are a safety hazard because they’re not inspected by fire officials. They also say current grow-ops cause violent crime that could be avoided with regulated operations. Under the proposal, the City of Oakland would be paid a fee in the first year to cover the cost of inspecting operations for safety. The businesses would also be expected to pay taxes. One of the potential growers has accounted for $1.5-million in taxes for the first year. At least one councillor say the goal of the bylaw is financial. “I do want to encourage a few large growers because I think that’s where the industry’s going,” councillor Jean Quan told the LA Times. While the Obama administration’s policy is to allow states to decide on marijuana what is legal and what’s not, it’s unclear whether the federal Drug Enforcement Agency would raid the operations.

LA Times