Farmersville and Woodlake eye marijuana business, while Visalia says no

Wednesday, August 09, 2017 07:09PM
This week, Visalia city councilmembers said no marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities.

VISALIA, Calif. - This week, Visalia city councilmembers said no marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities.

Mayor Warren Gubler says the majority of voters in Visalia and Tulare County voted no on Proposition 64, so he says council's vote is consistent with the will of the people.

Personally, the mayor also sees some social costs associated with allowing the industry inside the city's limits.

"But we want to send a message, especially to our teenagers and our youth that this is not something that we endorse," Gubler said. "The state of Colorado for instance has the highest incidents of teenage use of marijuana in the nation, and that's since they have allowed recreational marijuana."

Gubler says those looking to purchase weed have options outside of Visalia. He says Visalia simply doesn't need the potential tax revenue from such businesses, even though other cities might.

"Let's see how it works out in some of these other cities and maybe two or three years from now, let's see if it was a good idea or not," Gubler said.

"You know, there's a lot of things this city could do if we had more revenue," said Farmersville Mayor Paul Boyer.

On the heels of Proposition 64, Boyer and three other council members recently voted to put a marijuana cultivation tax measure on this November's ballot. They also will put a separate half-cent sales tax, which Boyer says would generate $300,000 a year.

"For long term, the city will need more than a half cent sales tax," Boyer said. "And I don't think we should ask the voters for more than another half cent."

Boyer said Farmersville residents should know that the tax would be imposed on the grower. He says the growers would not be working in the heart of the city, but perhaps closer to Highway 198.

"I think that's something we at least ought to ask the voters if they want to allow because Prop 64 passed, barely passed in our city but it did pass so I think that the voters may be open to that."

Boyer said they haven't had enough feedback from the community.

Meanwhile, Woodlake's city manager says they've heard plenty. Their city council will have a fifth public hearing about allowing cannabis businesses next week.
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