In a 4-1 vote, the Kern County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to ban the sale and mass production of marijuana in Kern County.
This does not mean marijuana itself is illegal. County Counsel Mark Nations says the new ban does not take away people's individual rights to use marijuana.
"We have not banned personal use of recreational marijuana and we have not banned personal use of medicinal marijuana," says Nations.
Rather, this new ban impacts businesses because the sale of marijuana, both recreational and medicinal, is now illegal. There are 28 pot shops in Kern County that sell medicinal marijuana. They have one year to wrap up their businesses and close. If at the end of the year they feel they need more time, they can petition with the County to have more time.
For residents, this means they must find other means to obtain marijuana. State law allows people with a medical card to grow either six mature plants or 12 immature plants in their personal residences. If they don't want to grow it, they can leave the county and buy it somewhere else. According to Nations, this could open a door for businesses outside of the county to prosper off of this decision.
"If it's banned all over Kern County and you have a business in Los Angeles and you have enough customers up here, I suppose it would make financial sense for them to deliver it," says Nations.
Nations says the County is working to create permits for businesses outside of Kern County to deliver within county lines.