Mendota City Council postpones pot vote after ordering new draft of ordinance

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Mendota, once the cantaloupe center of the world, is at a crossroads. Looking to expand its green thumb to a new industry, but the town stands divided. (KFSN)

Mendota, once the cantaloupe center of the world, is at a crossroads. Looking to expand its green thumb to a new industry, but the town stands divided.

"I would not want to be living any where near any of the plants where you are going to bring your revenue," said a concerned Mendota citizen.

The debate intensified at city hall Tuesday where council members introduced an ordinance that would allow commercial cultivation of marijuana. Businesses would only be able to grow pot-- not sell it.

"To grow and to work with these companies, to hire local people, I think it's a win-win situation," said a resident.

Mayor Rolando Castro is on the fence-- he worries with the state's minimum wage increase the city may not be able to afford the police department in a few years or provide competitive pay for other jobs.

"We gotta find the ways to keep our city going and, sadly, if that's one of the ways, I've got to support the council."

But several council members felt the ordinance sounded a little vague, ordering the City Manager to come up with another draft, specifically talking about medical, not recreational cultivation.

Still, some people feel uncomfortable.

"You can't go around say no to drugs but then ypu turn around and say, oh it's okay, because we're gonna raise money for the police department," said a resident.

The Mayor said marijuana businesses have promised the city a hundred jobs and an annual influx of $1-million to $4-million.

At their next meeting, the council will have to decide if all this money is worth the cost.

Related Topics:
politicsfresno countymarijuanaMendota
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