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Former Corona City Councilman Nolan accused of marijuana violations

Former Corona City Councilman Steve Nolan has been cited on suspicion of illegal cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale, the Riverside County jail log shows. Nolan, a 58-year-old former Anaheim police officer, was cited by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Investigations Bureau at his Rising Sun Road home at 3:20 a.m. on Jan. 14. The citations are misdemeanors. Southern California Edison is participating in the investigation, SCE spokeswoman Taelor Bakewell said. She didn’t have any further details. Marijuana growers sometimes illegally tap into electricity sources. Solar panels cover the roof of Nolan’s home. Read the rest of this story on ocregister.com.

California regulators say cannabis billboards along interstate highways must come down

Cannabis businesses can no longer advertise on billboards anywhere along a highway that crosses state borders, after a judge ruled in a favor of a central California dad who sued to block such ads. The ruling won’t impact stretches of in-state freeways populated with marijuana billboards, such as the 55 in Orange County or the 215 in the Inland Empire. But the Bureau of Cannabis Control said Thursday that billboard companies must immediately stop selling space to marijuana shops and start taking down existing ads near roadways that at any point cross state borders. This will mean no cannabis billboards near heavily used freeways such as Interstate 10 in the Inland Empire, the 5 freeway in Orange County, and Highway 101 in Los Angeles. Read the rest of this story on ocregister.com.

Marijuana: 4 things to watch for in California in 2021

Making predictions about California’s marijuana industry was a challenge even before a global pandemic changed everything. It’s not just that the legal cannabis market, which launched three years ago in California, is so new. It’s also the singularity of an industry in which licensed, legal operators still compete against a much larger illicit market, even as the industry’s core consumer product — which is medicine for some people — remains illegal at the federal level. Some of the trends that were expected to shake up California’s marijuana industry at the start of 2020 were overshadowed or fully sidelined by the coronavirus. Still, California’s marijuana businesses fared better than some other sectors thanks to their “essential” designation, which allowed retailers and others in the supp...

California cannabis businesses weathered 2020 better than many industries, but challenges persist

No one would say Year Three was the charm for California’s legal cannabis businesses, as many in the industry spent 2020 struggling with a global pandemic, high tax rates and illegal competitors that the state just can’t stamp out. But marijuana businesses are faring better this year than some other sectors thanks to their “essential” designation, which allows retailers and others in the supply chain to stay open during lockdowns. Some also believe the “essential” label is providing an image boost for an industry that’s long been stigmatized. “I think it shows a real cultural shift in how cannabis is being viewed,” said Josh Drayton, spokesman for the Sacramento-based California Cannabis Industry Association trade group. Read the rest of this story on ocregister.com.

Orange County’s Democratic leaders celebrate historic House vote to decriminalize marijuana

Published: Dec 4, 2020, 6:04 pm • Updated: Dec 4, 2020, 6:05 pm By Brooke Staggs Orange County’s all-Democratic congressional leadership celebrated Friday after the House approved a bill to decriminalize and tax cannabis at the federal level. The vote, they believe, reverses what supporters describe as a failed policy of criminalizing marijuana consumption, and it takes steps to address racial disparities in enforcement of federal drug laws. “Decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level is long overdue,” said Rep. Harley Rouda, D-Laguna Beach. Read the rest of this story on ocregister.com.

Fullerton council approves marijuana businesses; shops could start opening late next year

Recreational marijuana shops and other cannabis businesses can open in Fullerton after months of debate on whether the city should license and tax shops to undermine an existing black market. The city’s new law, passed 3-2 during a council meeting Nov. 17, reverses the city’s ban on marijuana-related businesses, now allowing recreational cannabis shops, manufacturers, distributors and indoor cultivators – up to five of each type – and an unlimited number of testing labs, which check marijuana products for potency levels and contaminants. Marijuana businesses will not be allowed to open within 800 feet of parks, schools and youth centers; some of the larger eligible zones include certain commercial strips and industrial areas in the city’s west and southeast. Read the rest of this story on ...

FBI raids Baldwin Park city attorney, Compton councilman, San Bernardino County official

FBI agents raided the offices of Baldwin Park City Attorney Robert Tafoya and the homes of Compton Councilman Isaac Galvan and San Bernardino County Planning Commissioner Gabriel Chavez last week as part of a cannabis-related corruption probe, authorities have confirmed. In a statement, an attorney representing Tafoya said a search warrant was executed related to his client on Wednesday, Oct. 28. Mark Werksman declined to address the specifics of the federal investigation, except to say “Tafoya shares the federal government’s interest in rooting out corruption in the cannabis industry and prosecuting political corruption of any kind.” “There is no place for that in our community,” Werksman said in an email. Read the rest of this story on ocregister.com.

Fullerton council defers vote on marijuana shop law

Fullerton’s City Council has tabled, for now, a proposed law that would allow regulated marijuana dispensaries, manufacturers and other business types in some of the city’s commercial and industrial areas. During a meeting Tuesday, Oct. 20, the council voted 4-1 to delay a decision on the ordinance. Some council members argued more study and community outreach must be done to avoid the negative impact of shops, while others contend the move simply kicks an inevitable issue down the road. California voters in 2016 passed Prop. 64, which legalized cannabis for recreational use by adults 21 and older. State law lets local leaders decide whether to allow – and tax – sectors of the industry, such as recreational or medical shops, cultivation and distribution, within cities or counties. Read the...

Anaheim man arrested after Placentia fire linked to marijuana honey oil operation

PLACENTIA — A 41-year-old Anaheim man was booked Wednesday on suspicion of manufacturing a controlled substance stemming from a blaze at a marijuana honey oil operation in Placentia, police said. David Hoffman was found in front of a business that caught fire in the 700 block of Dunn Way about 8:40 a.m., police said. Police said he told first responders there was a marijuana honey oil operation in the burning building and that there were several flammable chemicals on the premises, leading firefighters to evacuate workers in the Dunn Way Business Park as well as businesses on the 700 block of Orangethorpe Avenue. Read the rest of this story on ocregister.com.

Redwood City could soon allow up to six storefront cannabis dispensaries

REDWOOD CITY — Cannabis connoisseurs who have long fretted over the veritable dispensary desert on the Peninsula could soon find an oasis in Redwood City. Redwood City residents are being asked to weigh in on allowing up to six cannabis retailers to open up in certain parts of the city during a Plan Commission meeting on Tuesday, two weeks after the city council expressed support for expanding access to the popular drug during a council study session. Ever since cannabis was legalized for recreational use back in 2016, no Peninsula city has gone the way of San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland in allowing storefronts to open up. There are several delivery services across the Peninsula, but Redwood City is the first to seriously consider cannabis clubs to open. Read the rest of this story on ...

Illegal marijuana farms are risky for workers who don’t make much, California sheriff says

Workers on large, illegal marijuana farms in Riverside County such as the one in Aguanga where seven people were slain early Labor Day often live in plywood shacks as they tend the leaves that bring someone else millions of dollars – a lifestyle that could cost them their lives, Sheriff Chad Bianco said. There have been eight incidents with 14 homicides in Riverside County this year alone that authorities have linked to illegal marijuana-growing operations. “The amount of money that we know is being generated by this – they are certainly not making it,” Bianco said of the workers in an interview Wednesday. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.

With 7 dead, large-scale California marijuana operation is tied to organized crime

By ELLIOT SPAGAT and MICHAEL R. BLOOD | The Associated Press AGUANGA  — An illegal marijuana growing operation where seven people were fatally shot in a small, rural Southern California town had the markings of organized crime, authorities said Tuesday. More than 20 people lived on the property, which had several makeshift dwellings, a nursery and vehicles used in production, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said. Marijuana was processed to honey oil, a highly potent concentrate made by extracting the high-inducing chemical THC from cannabis. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.

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