Santa Catalina Island will vote on whether or not to open up the island’s first cannabis collective. Citizens of the island’s only town, Avalon, hope to use the tax revenue to help improve its schools. Real estate broker Mark Malan led the petition to gather enough signatures to put it on the ballot.
“It’s going to create wheelbarrows of money,” Malan told the Los Angeles Times.
Malan owns the Hermosa Hotel based in Avalon on Catalina Island. Malan is determined to be the first man to open up a cannabis collective on the island. The Avalon Medical Cannabis Facility Act of 2016 would collect $10,000 per collective for an annual license tax. 50 percent of those funds would be funneled into Catalina’s Schools, which is a branch of the Long Beach Unified School District. A 12 percent transaction fee would be divided three ways, going to drug and alcohol education, Avalon’s general fund and parks and recreation.
Scott Chipman is the Southern California Chair of Citizens Against Marijuana. Chipman was disappointed with the proposal. “I wouldn’t care if he put every penny into schools,” Chipman quipped. “It’s making a deal with the devil.”
The initiative would allow for two collectives on the island. Malan, who’s been transparent from the get-go, hopes to open up one of them in his own Catalina Real Estate office. Malan’s office is close to the $10 million-dollar Catalina Island Museum. “Critics say I just want to open a dispensary there because it will attract some of the visitors flocking to the new museum,” he said. “You know what? They’re right.”
The Avalon City Council will decide shortly on whether or not to put the initiative on the ballot. The council could decide in June or wait until the next election cycle in 2018.