After all the chest beating, screaming and counting chickens, by Northern California cannabis activists, it seems that the votes were just not there. The future of cannabis, both medical and nonmedical, is going to depend on local measures. Therefore, if those sounding off about how worried they are, want to change the current, local ordinances and gain some control, greater efforts are going to be needed to pass local measures and elect cannabis friendly politicians.


The only VICTORY, in yesterday’s election, came in Nevada County where voters came together to defeat Measure W, which would have solidified an outdoor ban. There was a victory, of sorts, in Davis where Measure C, a 10% tax on sales at recreational dispensaries passed. However, it was a pyrrhic victory as the City Council has made it clear that they will not permit dispensaries, either medical or nonmedical.


Other cities and counties didn’t fare so well:

Butte County passed Measure G that made cannabis exempt from the right to farm laws. Measure H also passed and it added teeth to the enforcement provisions of the cannabis ordinance.

The city of Sacramento failed, barely, to pass Measure Y, which would have placed a 5% tax on indoor grows.

San Jose easily defeated Measure C, which would have eased restrictions on dispensaries.

Siskiyou County passed Measure T, which strengthened code enforcement for cultivation, and Measure U which banned outdoor cultivation.

Yuba County easily defeated Measure A, a less restrictive cultivation ordinance and Measure B, which would have called for one dispensary for every 20,000 residents.


When the dust settles, it will be necessary for those wanting to move the cause of medical and recreational cannabis forward, to organize, cooperate, raise funds, communicate a clear message and, most importantly, get supporters out to vote.

The cannabis movement has entered into a new phase. There is now an industry, which covers 25 states, medically, and potentially the entire Western United States, recreationally, in November. The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, if passed, will put power into the hands of local jurisdictions to control the permit and ordinance process. This local permit must be obtained before statewide licenses can be issued or maintained. No one can stand on laurels, reputation, feelings, beliefs or expect the other side to do anything for us from this point on.