Are legal sales of weed coming to Compton? A recent appearance of a state legislator at local city council meetings suggests it could be on the horizon.
Sen. Steve Bradford, who represents Compton, attended the city’s June 7 regular city council meeting to discuss the “budget priority” for the City, which includes legalizing sales of weed and reducing corresponding taxes.
“We know its legal in the state of California [and] I introduced SB 1293 which is a law that will provide tax relief for both cultivation and distribution and we know the high taxes in CA right now is leading to the illegal market and we’re gonna try and bring those taxes down so people will spend in legal dispensaries.”
Compton currently has multiple illegal dispensaries operating where one was the scene of a murder of a Long Beach student. There are whispers that Compton Unified School District is not happy with the City’s lax enforcement that allows the dispensaries to operate within feet of local schools.
Residents rejected a local measure to legalize sales in the City despite voters overwhelmingly supporting the idea on a state level.
Weed money played a significant role in recent elections around the South Bay just as state funds were earmarked in 2020 to perform studies in certain cities.
The 2021 Compton elections had candidates supported by the industry including former Compton Mayor Aja Brown’s candidate Christian Reynaga who received “in kind” services from Brown’s campaign committee Compton Strong. One of the committee’s donors recently plead guilty to bank fraud charges.
It was also alleged the industry funded the recount efforts of Councilman Andre Spicer as he battled Isaac Galvan to be declared the rightful winner of the City’s 2021 General Election for District 2.
Compton moved at lighting speed to swear in Spicer after a judge ruled last month that the election results be overturned in his favor.
Weed lobbyists were spotted in Compton council chambers attending Spicer’s swearing in ceremony May 31.
In Bellflower, the City tapped a local law firm (consultant) to study the reduction of taxes on certain marijuana related operations after a consultant said lower taxes would result in more sales by the marijuana permit holders and thus more revenue to the city, which gets a percentage of such profits.
The council adopted a resolution temporarily reducing cannabis tax rates for manufacturing to 2%, down from 7.5%; and distribution to 1%, down from 7.5%.
Bellflower’s finance director said one of the city’s cannabis license holders, EEL Holdings, requested that the city’s cannabis tax rates be reduced for manufacturing and distribution and to freeze the tax rate for retail sales (at 7.5%) citing tax rates in Long Beach, Costa Mesa and Santa Ana and the lost business opportunities in Bellflower because of the current rates.
The consultant was identified as Harris & Associates who also has ties to the city of Carson.
Weed played a huge role in recent Carson elections when the industry erected billboards on behalf of Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes, Council member Jawane Hilton and a candidate he supported, Brandi Murdock.
Sen. Bradford regularly sends out announcements of what he’s doing in Senate District 35 which includes appropriating money for studying the economic benefits of cannabis legalization in certain cities.
The Dymally Institute should be reporting their findings soon.
Most, if not all, of our Black elected officials have been in the direct line of ushering in cannabis in their respective cities but remain steadfast that cigarettes are harmful to the community.
Will the current Compton council embrace the cannabis industry and place the matter before voters again? If so, how are you voting?letter-of-support-for-sb-1281-bradford-cannabis-taxes