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Cannabis news worldwide -- San Bernardino again is sued over its cannabis laws


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San Bernardino again is sued over its cannabis laws

Another person is suing San Bernardino over its cannabis laws.

In light of San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge David Cohn declaring Measure O invalid, Katherine Redmon, a lifelong resident and the advocate for Measure N, filed suit against the city on Monday, April 16, to have her initiative implemented as law.

Like Measure O, Measure N was passed by voters in 2016 – albeit by a narrower margin. Redmon believes her initiative – not the city’s recently adopted ordinance addressing commercial cannabis businesses – should have taken effect when the court ruled Measure O invalid.

Cohn’s ruling has been appealed.

Bradley Hertz, Redmon’s attorney, said by phone Monday the city violated California law in implementing its own commercial cannabis ordinance in Measure O’s wake. The logical way to carry out voters’ interests, he said, “is to give effect only to the legal (measure) that passed.

“Even though Measure N came in second,” Hertz added, “now that Measure O is invalid, we believe the law supports the will of the voters to have a scheme like Measure N, rather than something new that the council would come up with, which would not have been allowed to occur with Measure N in place.”

City leaders passed three cannabis ordinances on March 7. A few weeks later, a Pacific Palisades woman sued San Bernardino over one of them.

This latest suit could have been avoided had the city worked with Measure N proponents to craft a suitable replacement for Measure O, Hertz said. Hertz wrote a letter to the City Attorney’s Office in February saying as much. He also sent a follow-up email.

“Not only did the City fail to respond in good faith to the requests set forth” in the letter, the suit says, “but instead, the City agendized its own cannabis-related ordinance.”

Measure N, which received 51 percent of the vote to Measure O’s 55 percent, called for 20 licenses to regulate marijuana. Also, a 5 percent tax on cannabis businesses, which would have generated $18.2 million in revenue for the city, according to a study done by New ERA.

“We had hopes the city would be more progressive and forward looking when we started Measure N, but I don’t think the city has found common ground with us yet on the issue,” Redmon said by phone Monday. “Unfortunately, we’ve had to take these measures.

“But the voters’ rights are really critical here.”

Under the city’s commercial cannabis ordinance, as many as 17 permits for all types of activities can be awarded this first year.

City staffers will start accepting business applications April 23.

City Attorney Gary Saenz was not immediately available for comment Monday.

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