WeHo’s 3rd Annual Cannabis Forum Set for Aug. 26

The third annual Cannabis Education Forum will be held on Aug. 26 at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers.

The annual forum is intended to bring together cannabis enthusiasts, advocates and professionals to discuss obstacles and opportunities for industry growth in a political and social context. This year’s forum also will focus on the implementation of Proposition 64’s legalization of recreational use of cannabis in West Hollywood. This year, the Cannabis Education Forum will recognize and honor a member of the West Hollywood cannabis community with its first-ever Trailblazer Award. More information about speakers at the forum will be released in coming days.

marijuana, nestdropThe event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., south of Santa Monica. The event is free but those attending are asked to RSVP online.

The West Hollywood City Council hosted a forum on July 10 at which five people from other cities and states who advocate for or execute policies for the use of recreational marijuana, including one who is in the business of making and selling it, took questions from Council members.

While certain minimum regulatory standards are set by the state, California cities have until Jan. 1 to enact local ordinances, otherwise, the state laws governing those matters will prevail.

California Department of Public Health is proposing to restrict that amount of THC, (tetrahydrocannabinol), the physiologically active component, in any individual cannabis product to no more than 10 milligrams. However individual cities can make their own decisions on issues such as licensing retail marijuana stores, allowing on-site consumption, allowing home delivery of marijuana and allowing warehousing of marijuana.

Currently, West Hollywood law allows a maximum of four medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in the city, all of which are on Santa Monica Boulevard. Under city law medical dispensaries must be at least 1,000 feet apart from each other and none can be within 500 feet of a church/temple, school, day-care center or playground.

One key issue is how the city should decide who can receive a license to sell recreational marijuana. One option is to have a lottery system in which the city randomly selects an applicant from a pool of them. Another is to establish a merit-based system in which applicants have to meet certain qualifications that could include whether they are adequately financed and are run by an experienced business person. Local applicants could be given a preference in such a system.

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