Voters have may have options for final say in medical marijuana debate

by Lexi Wilson, Eyewitness News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — 

Voters may get a chance to make medical marijuana legal in Kern County, after supervisors banned it last year.

Three marijuana initiatives are close to being on the November ballot.

Right now, those initiatives are circulating the community for signatures.

First, on the ballot. The Jarvis-Epps initiative. This would allow marijuana to be grown, manufactured, and tested in Kern County. Also, unlimited medical marijuana dispensaries could open in the country, but there would be some restrictions.

“We want to make sure the shops are not in neighborhoods that if they are growing they are in the right zone district for it,” said Heather Epps.

Next up, The Eilenburg-Godinez initiative. This would allow everything in Jarvis-Epps initiative, plus recreational sales. It would regulate all commercial cannabis activity.

“Our initiative is more encompassing, it offers more discretion, I think it’s fair across the board and allows the county to generate income,” said Gabriel Godinez.

Last up, the Central Valley Cannabis Association’s initiative. This only legalizes medical dispensaries and allows some currently standing shops to say open so long as they aren’t too close to schools.

“Local economy and for the local patients use, it’s not large scale or something they would export to other places,” said David Abassi.

If any initiative makes the ballot and passes, the county will not be able to issue a new ban. If all three pass, it’s unknown how the county would balance the difference of each law.

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