PALMDALE — The Can­nabis Ad Hoc Com­mit­tee will meet today as it begins in earnest dis­cus­sions regarding the future of commercial marijuana businesses in the city.

The committee meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the City Administrative Office, 38300 Sierra Highway, Suite A, and is open to the pub­lic.

Along with coun­cil­mem­bers Steve Hofbauer and Laura Bettencourt, the committee consists of Plan­ning commissioners Bart Avery and Stacia Nemeth and community members Matthew Petri, Ken Hart, Josepth Parisio, Adam Murren, Sam Campaneli and Diane Carlton.

The committee is tasked with returning rec­om­mendations to the City Coun­cil regarding wheth­er the city should lift its ex­ist­ing ban on all com­mercial cannabis ac­tiv­ities and if so, how to regulate such businesses within the city.

The commercial can­na­bis industry consists of cultivation, manufacturing (in which oils are extracted from the plants and used in other forms, such as edibles or topical treatments), test­ing (as required under state law), distribution and re­tail sales.

After a series of meetings with consultants from HdL Companies to delve into the details of the industry and reg­u­la­tion, the committee to­day will begin “dis­cus­sion of wheth­er Palm­dale should con­tinue its ban of com­mer­cial cannabis ac­tiv­ities or should it explore av­enues to regulate the industry in Palm­dale,” according to the agenda.

At the initial committee meeting in August, Hof­bau­er described the com­mit­tee’s work as “more of a pro­cess than an event,” in which the group will take a de­liberative and thorough approach to examine the op­portunities and pitfalls of allowing cannabis bus­i­nesses in Palmdale.

“Cities that have not gone cautiously in their rule­making and their reg­u­la­tory issues, like Cal City, it’s been a major disaster,” Bettencourt said. “This has to be thought out in absolute detail before it goes forward in our city or we will face the financial and social crisis that Cal City is facing.”

California City voted to allow medical cannabis bus­i­nesses in August 2016 and has since expanded to allow recreational, also known as adult-use, can­na­bis. Although the city re­ceived and ap­proved a wealth of per­mits, es­tab­lish­ment of the bus­i­ness­es them­selves has been far slow­er than an­tic­ip­ated, and the expected tax rev­en­ues have not yet ma­ter­ialized.

The council established the Ad-Hoc Cannabis Com­mit­tee in July 2017 in re­sponse to the passage of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

The act, which was ap­proved by voters as Prop­o­sition 64 in No­vem­ber 2016, went into effect Jan. 1. The new law is intended to protect and expand upon med­ical marijuana access in the state, and legalize and control non-medical adult cultivation, use, and sales.

The law allows people to grow marijuana for their own use, but authorizes cit­ies and counties to ban bus­i­nesses selling mar­i­jua­na and allows them to im­pose regulations on in­div­iduals growing mar­i­juana.

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