It will be at least another year before a decision is made on whether commercial marijuana growing will be allowed in Encinitas.
Although a majority of Encinitas voters supported Proposition 64, many say they don’t want pot cultivated or manufactured there, so Wednesday night, the City Council voted 4 to 1 to put the issue back before voters.
“Voters, is this what you intended with your 65% on 64, is a perfectly legitimate thing,” said City Council Member Tasha Boerner Horvath.
Not everyone agrees, however.
Longtime flower farm Dramm & Echter wants to diversify its business by adding two to three acres of marijuana plants.
"Marijuana cultivation on a limited basis in the city as well as a limited basis on this property could give us some margins on a product that could really help me modernize the rest of my business," Echter said.
He said he is “disappointed” by the city council’s decision.
“I was really hoping the city would make a decision, that they would support their commitments to agriculture and to these properties that have dedicated for a long, long time to be in agriculture,” Echter said.
Another Encinitas resident, who is opposed to allowing marijuana cultivation and manufacturing in the city, said the council should have voted down the issue altogether.
But a neighbor who lives right next to Dramm & Echter said he thinks the council made the right decision. Chance Mann-Alcoser said the proposed ordinance was “jumping the gun.”
“It just became legal for recreational use in the state as of 2018, so it’s not even totally legal yet, so to do something like this kind of seems preemptive to me,” he said.
The City Council is now drafting an ordinance to keep the city’s current regulations in effect through the 2018 vote.
Then, it will begin drafting the actual ordinance that will go before voters.