By Ashley Loza
Kern Valley Sun
The Kern County Board of Supervisors approved two initiative measures for the November ballot that will ask voters to decide whether to overturn the board’s ban on medical marijuana in unincorporated Kern County.
While the two measures state different methods for overturning the ban, both will be included on the ballot. The measure with the most votes will be adopted.
The first measure aims to replace the county’s existing ban with the State of California’s dispensary regulations, keeping a ban on recreational use.
The second measure would allow a limit of 35 medical dispensaries in Kern County, allowing regulation of adult use and medical and requiring manufacturing, cultivation and distribution to be limited to two zones in West Kern.
Supervisors were given three options: they could adopt one measure, approve both measures for the ballot, or request impact reports on either measure.
County Counsel Mark Nations warned that the board might face legal challenges if they adopted one measure over the other, since both had obtained the required number of signatures needed for approval. He suggested that the board ensure that whatever action they take be equal for both measures.
The board ultimately voted 4-0 in favor of placing both measures on the ballot, with Fifth District Supervisor Leticia Perez abstaining and leaving the chamber before the discussion began.
Perez has been charged with two misdemeanors for conflict of interest regarding the marijuana industry and recently promised to remove herself from any further discussions the board may have on the topic.
First District Supervisor Mick Gleason ultimately voted in favor of placing the measures on the ballot.
“I’ve done my best, fought the fight, but I also trust the people,” concluded Gleason.