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What you need to know: voters to decide Kern medicinal cannabis on March 3

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Posted at 5:32 PM, Feb 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 01:17:28-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Come Tuesday, March 3, Kern County voters will decide on two medicinal cannabis measures.

Each measures calls for the legalization of medical marijuana dispensaries and impose a business tax here in Kern County. But each measure has a different stances on the regulations of the business.

Measure D was put on the ballot by a citizen's initiative.

Measure E was put on the ballot through a vote of the Kern County Board of Supervisors as an alternative.


Measure D
Measure D will allow medicinal cannabis dispensaries that were legally operating for January 1, 2018 to apply for a permit.

Existing and relocating medicinal cannabis dispensaries would also be entitled to a County permit to operate as a delivery service or conduct off-site cultivation or manufacturing upon successful application for a state license for such activities. Indoor cultivation is restricted to agricultural or industrial zones, outdoor cultivation is restricted to agricultural zones, and manufacturing is restricted to industrial zones.

Any person or entity may apply for a state license to operate a testing laboratory. Testing laboratories may only be located in industrial zones.

A yes vote for Measure D supports authorizing medical marijuana dispensaries to operate with a ministerial use permit in the county and imposing a 3.75% special business tax per every $1,000 of gross income.

Those in favor of Measure D argue revenue may go towards law enforcement, drug treatment, and K-12 schools.

A no vote opposes authorizing medical marijuana dispensaries to operate with a ministerial use permit in the county and imposing a 3.75% special business tax per every $1,000 of gross income.

Those against Measure D argue the Medicinal Cannabis Measure will permit shops that have closed to reopen or even expand with no new regulations, all with no public hearing or community input.

Other initiative requirements for Measure D includes:

  • Requires dispensaries to be located 1,000 feet from schools, in a zone where pharmacies may operate.
  • Authorizes commercial cannabis activity by cannabis testing laboratories.
  • Allows for delivery services and off-site cultivation or manufacturing.
  • To see the full text on the initiative, see here:



Measure E
The County's Measure E would allow new medicinal cannabis dispensaries to open, but would require dispensaries to obtain a conditional use permit before they would be allowed to open. The permit would apply for three years, and involve a public hearing.

Those for the county measure argue it provides a clean-slate for the cannabis industry, but with regulation and community input.

The measure only allows retail sales of medical cannabis. All other commercial cannabis activity would be prohibited.

The County also has the ability to revoke the conditional use permit if dispensaries fail to meet performance standards or sell non-medical marijuana, along with other grounds.

A yes vote supports authorizing medical marijuana dispensaries to operate with a conditional use permit in the county and imposing a 3.5% special business tax per every $1,000 of gross income.

A no vote opposes this.

Other initiative requirements for Measure E includes:

  • Dispensaries must be setback 1000 feet from legal medicinal shops, schools, public parks, youth centers, libraries, churches, city limits, or 350 feet from any residence.
  • Only allows retail sales of medical cannabis. All other commercial cannabis activity would be prohibited.
  • Sets development and performance standards for lighting, signage, noise control and hours of operation.
  • To see the full text on the measure. see here: