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Lynwood moves to permit marijuana cultivation

A salesperson displays a strain of marijuana at Kushmart, one of the largest medical marijuana dispensaries in downtown Los Angeles, on Monday afternoon, Feb. 29, 2016.
A salesperson displays a strain of marijuana at Kushmart, one of the largest medical marijuana dispensaries in downtown Los Angeles, on Monday afternoon, Feb. 29, 2016.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

The city of Lynwood took a step toward legalizing the cultivation of marijuana Tuesday night.

On a 3–2 vote, the City Council approved on first reading an ordinance that would regulate businesses that grow and manufacture medical cannabis within city limits. The ordinance will need to have at least one more reading before it passes.

Council members José-Luis Solache and Maria Teresa Santillan-Beas were the dissenting votes. According to a staffer in the city clerk’s office, they argued the city should wait to see how voters decide on Proposition 64, the statewide ballot measure that would legalize recreational pot in California.

If passed, the Lynwood ordinance would allow the licensing of up to five properties to grow or manufacture marijuana at any given time.

Those properties could not be within 600 feet of a school or day care center or within 50 feet of a residential zone.  Mayor Pro-Tem Aide Castro has said she would propose an amendment extending the buffer zone for schools or daycare centers to 1,000 feet, according to L.A. Weekly.

State laws regulating the medical marijuana industry would allow municipalities to exercise local autonomy, employing land use and police powers to allow, limit or exclude marijuana, city staff noted in their report to the Council.

The three-bill regulatory package known as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in October. However, it won’t go into effect until 2018, which means Lynwood is getting an early start, as L.A. Weekly reports.

CalCann Holdings, a marijuana real estate company, said Lynwood is actually the first in the county to explicitly license the growing, manufacture and extraction of cannabis.

According to its website, the company acquires properties that have already been given the green light by local governments to participate in the budding medical marijuana industry.

CalCann noted that if Prop 64 passes, whatever locations are licensed in Lynwood for the cultivation of medical marijuana would be grandfathered to include recreational pot, too.