Marijuana task force to meet Sept. 28


Residents will get the chance to share their thoughts about marijuana’s place in Encinitas when the city’s Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) Subcommittee reconvenes after a summer break on Sept. 28.

At the public meeting at city hall, the subcommittee will continue its discussion on the possibilities of cultivation by local farmers, mobile dispensaries for medical marijuana, a scientific survey and the banning of edibles in areas like parks, said Encinitas City Council member Joe Mosca, who sits on the task force with Deputy Mayor Tony Kranz.

Mosca said the goal of the meeting is to continue the discussion and receive feedback and input from the community. The last time the subcommittee met was in May.

In past meetings, the Encinitas farming community has advocated for cultivation as a way to sustain their businesses, but naysayers have warned about possible dangers toward the youth and community overall. It was also suggested that some proponents did not live in the city and were just looking for monetary profit.

Over the last several city council meetings, proponents and opponents have flooded public comment periods to share their opinions regarding marijuana. Because of the nature of public comments, the city council has not been able to respond during the meetings.

Some speakers have suggested the city has already decided it is in favor of marijuana, but Mosca said that is not the case.

“I don’t think the fact that we’re looking at and exploring cultivation — because the city council asked us to — means that we’ve made up our minds,” he said. “I, for one, have not made up my mind, and I don’t believe the process has been biased in any way. I don’t know if I’ve heard anybody say exactly where they stand on this issue. That conversation is still yet to be had.”

He also added that while some people have advocated for storefronts in the city, council members have not appeared in favor of such establishments.

He said the introduction of a citizen initiative — which was filed Aug. 22 and aims to earn enough signatures to let the voters decide how the substance should be handled in Encinitas — is a “bit of a game changer.”

The San Diego-based Association of Cannabis Professionals will have to obtain about 6,000 signatures from Encinitas voters to quality for an initiative on a special election ballot or about 4,000 signatures for a general election initiative, Mosca explained.

“This issue is now going to be addressed by the residents of Encinitas,” he said. “As a council member, you’re always trying to understand what is the will of the residents and what’s in sync with what they want. If the issue is actually heading for the ballot, well, they’re going to tell us how they feel.”

The AUMA Subcommittee will meet Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. in the city council chambers at city hall, 505 S. Vulcan St., Encinitas.