[Shasta County] Shasta Lake City Issues Response To Grand Jury Report On Cannabis Industry

 

The City of Shasta Lake has responded to a grand jury report from last June that was critical of the city’s cannabis industry embracing of the legal cannabis industry. The City of Shasta Lake saw an opportunity to cash in on the potential tax windfall. After putting the question to voters in the form of their “Measure A”, the city hit the ground running at the start of last year in order to allow businesses to establish themselves as soon as it became legal to do so, but the grand jury says that in its rush to be first, the city did not effectively plan for the impact on infrastructure. The city already had the county’s only remaining medical marijuana dispensaries, and they made a fairly seamless transition to retail recreational sales. The grand jury pointed out the inherent problems in the conflict between state law and federal law, which still considers cannabis to be a prohibited substance. Since federal law oversees banking, the cannabis industry is forced to be a cash-only operation, which has obvious potential security issues. The city says they implemented a policy requiring cash deposits to be transported by law enforcement. Remarkably, no violations of the law have been identified by the sheriff’s office, which provides the city’s law enforcement needs under contract. While the cash-only system may eventually pose problems concerning security and the temptation for graft and corruption by city employees, it apparently hasn’t yet. The grand jury said ethics training and cash management standards for city staff is needed, but the city has responded that they don’t believe that’s warranted. The primary remaining issue the grand jury found was in allowing cannabis-related businesses in the Shasta Gateway Industrial Park. When the park became zoned for the new industry, every available lot was quickly snapped up. The biggest problem is access, specifically egress in the event of a disaster. There is only one secondary emergency road and it’s unpaved and sometimes gated. The grand jury said that needed to be addressed before any more development was allowed there. Much discussion has taken place, but apparently the recommendation has not yet been implemented. The panel also pointed the need for a more clearly defined code enforcement process, which the city says it has expanded. The grand jury had required responses for eleven issues involving cannabis in Shasta Lake, but only three were addressed.

March 8, 2019

KQMS

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