New Cal City grand jury report details current state of cannabis industry

CAL CITY, Calif. - The 2017-2018 Kern County Grand Jury released a new report on the cannabis industry in California City on Monday.

The report, titled "High Hopes for Cannabis Industry," highlights the city's attempt to incorporate the cannabis cultivation industry. The report says the Grand Jury received several complaints from citizens expressing concern regarding cannabis in Cal City.

In the "findings" section of the report, it's stated that the city may not have provided adequate time for citizens to express whether or not they wanted the industry in the first place. According to the report, a survey on "Survey Monkey" was put on the website, asking residents to vote on whether or not they wanted the industry in California City. Residents were reportedly only given three days to respond, and the report says the small number of responses was not proportionate to the size of the population. 195 people responded to the survey, and Cal City's population exceeds 14,000 people.

The report goes on to say that the city's lack of adequate power, paved roads and infrastructure shows that the city is not prepared to handle the anticipated growth expected from the industry. It also says that the "already short-staffed and overworked Police Department is over burdened by demands placed on them by the onslaught of illegal growers that invaded the city."

Those illegal grows have resulted in property damages between $30,000 and $40,000 per house according to the report, leaving property owners as victims of the illegal activities.

The committee had multiple recommendations for Cal City, including conducting an independent audit for all fees collected from the cannabis industry applications and permits, and they recommend that the cannabis permitting process be streamlined into one department and under one supervisor.

During the process, the committee visited Cal City nine different times to meet with city officials, staff and residents. City records were subpoenaed and reviewed.

A response from the city is required within 90 days. You can find the full grand jury report here.

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