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Oakland Wants to Bring Cannabis Industry Out of the Shadows

Oakland’s medical marijuana industry may be big and proud and pioneering, but much of it still operates in the shadows — with growers, manufacturers, delivery drivers and unsanctioned dispensaries operating outside the bounds of city oversight, inspections and taxation.

But the City Council was expected to change that Tuesday night, passing laws to regulate the multimillion-dollar pot business from seed to smoke. The expected vote follows a unique, months-long process in the East Bay city to both rein in and exploit a growing sector of the economy, one based on a controlled substance.

While Oakland was the first city in California to regulate a handful of dispensaries, just eight now operate as fully sanctioned businesses, subject to sales tax, public health and safety regulations, environmental and employment rules, and other city laws.

“Obviously the cannabis and cannabis products don’t magically appear there,” said Greg Minor, assistant to the city administrator. [Read more at]

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