A new poll suggests that most Californians want a legal cannabis dispensary opened close to home.
The poll was conducted by the University of California, Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies and found that 63 percent of respondents favor allowing dispensaries in their communities. Results from the poll also showed 68 percent of Californians believe legalizing cannabis was a “good thing.”
California, which has become the largest legal cannabis market in the world, still struggles with a thriving black market for illegal cannabis purchases. A recent audit in the state found nearly 3,000 illegal dispensaries, which would make it over three times the size of the state’s legal market. Although California planned to open as many as 6,000 cannabis dispensaries within the first few years of legalization, only 601 permits have been issued to retail stores and 274 permits have been issued for home-delivery businesses.
“With this broad spectrum of support, it is critical that California’s local municipalities honor the will of the voters, overturn their bans, and give their constituents access to tested and regulated cannabis,” said Lindsay Robinson, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association.
More than half of California’s municipalities have a ban or a moratorium in place to prevent cannabis retail businesses from operating. Under state law, home delivery is allowed even in the municipalities that don’t allow storefronts.
Assemblyman Phil Ting, a Democrat from San Francisco, introduced a bill earlier this year that would require cannabis stores to be approved in cities where a majority of voters approved Proposition 64, but was shelved due to opposition from cities and counties. The bill would require one licensed cannabis store for every six restaurants and bars with liquor licenses, or one store for every 15,000 residents, whichever results in fewer cannabis shops. He plans on trying to pass the bill again in 2020.