Though California is likely to go fully cannabis legal by 2017, LA County supervisors voted Tuesday to extend by a full year a temporary ban on all medical marijuana growing, distribution, and testing in unincorporated areas, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
The move is meant to halt the the lightning-fast progress of the cannabis industry in the county in order to buy enough time to create a sufficient regulatory system to oversee it, but could have profound effects on industry professionals and medical marijuana patients alike.
Two thirds of LA County is made up of unincorporated municipalities, including several pockets of what is thought of as LA City proper and the San Fernando Valley. Among the areas affected by the ban are East L.A., Walnut Park, Universal City, Topanga, and East Pasadena. (See a map of the unincorporated areas here.)
The ban was initially put in place earlier this year for a 45-day interim, then extended for an additional month, and now the temporary ban is to be dragged out for another year.
The supervisors’ vote is “pretty much kicking the can down the road…until we see what the voters of California do in November,” Supervisor Sheila Kuehl told the Times. Kuehl cast the only vote not in favor of extending the ban, arguing that the county focus on regulating and sustaining the industry instead of procrastinating.
Kuehl in particular asked that the county look at environmental regulations for marijuana crops, saying, “In terms of outdoor cultivation, I don’t see treating this crop any better or worse than any other grown outdoors.”
Photo via Flickr user Dank Depot