Voter’s Edge California
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Presentado por
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
November 6, 2018 — Elección General de California

City of Half Moon Bay
Measure GG - Majority Approval Required

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Resultados electorales


2,983 votos si (52.96%)

2,650 votos no (47.04%)

Shall the measure, an ordinance to allow and regulate commercial, greenhouse nursery cultivation of immature cannabis plants on existing greenhouse sites in the City's A-1 (Agricultural/Exclusive Floriculture) Zoning District for cannabis nurseries that receive a license from the City Council and comply with specified standards, be adopted?

¿Qué es esta propuesta?

Información básica sobre la iniciativa de ley — Información oficial sobre esta iniciativa

Análisis del analista legislativo / Proposal

Catherine Engberg, City Attorney

This Measure is an ordinance that was placed on the ballot by the City Council for the City of Half Moon Bay. If approved, the Measure would amend the Half Moon Bay Municipal Code to provide procedures and regulations to allow cannabis nursery businesses to operate in certain locations within the City.  "Cannabis" is also known as "marijuana."

The Half Moon Bay Municipal Code currently prohibits cannabis businesses. This Measure would amend the Municipal Code to (1) update that ban to reflect current state law terms, (2) specify that the prohibition does not apply to cannabis delivery businesses, established outside of the City, and (3) create an exception from the ban for cannabis nurseries that comply with specified regulations and receive a City license.

The Measure includes the following requirements for cannabis nurseries, among others:


 * The business must apply for and receive a City Cannabis Nursery License

 * The City Council must consider the license application at a noticed public hearing and could only approve it after finding that the business (1) complies with appicable regulations, (2) includes adequate safety and security measures, and (3) will not threaten pubnlic health, safety, quiet enjoyment of residential property, or general welfare.

 * A license is valid for 12 months and can be renewed if certain requirements are met.


 * Nurseries must be located on parcels with existing greenhouses in the A-1 (Agricultural/Exclusive Floriculture) Zoning District

 * Nursery structures must be at least 1,000 feet away from any school, day care center, or youth center

 * Nursery structures must be at least 200 feet away from Highway 1 and any parcel with a residential zoning or land use designation


 * No more than 66,000 square feet of cannabis canopy can be cultivated by any single business

 * All cultivation must occur within a greenhouse. Existing greenhouses may be replaced or relocated but the size may not be increased

 * Cultivation of mature (flowering) cannabis plants is prohibited

 * Plants may not exceed 18 inches, except for mother plants used for cloning

 Business Operations:

 * Nurseries cannot employ persons under 21 years of age

 * Nurseries must be screened from public view by vegetation along the perimeters of the site

 * Businesses must facilitate local hires

 * Cannabis odors cannot be detectable beyond the site

 * Greenhouse lighting must be shielded

 * Local groundwater and surface water cannot be used for any increased water demand

 * Runoff cannot drain into storm drains or waterways

 * Electrical power must come from renewable energy sources

 * The nursery must be secured and under video surveillance

 * Owners and managers must pass a background check

 * Businesses must comply with state cannabis business regulations

 * The City must conduct unannounced inspections at least once a year

If the Measure is approved, the City Council could amend or repeal the new cannabis nursery regulations or cannabis business ban without a vote of the people.

A "Yes" vote is a vote to approve the Measure.

A "No" vote is a vote to reject the Measure.

This measure must receive a majority of "yes" votes to pass

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Argumento A FAVOR

According to the City of HMB, 69% of voters favored Proposition 64 which legalized a regulated cannabis industry statewide two years ago. These cannabis ballot measures are a continuation of the process to implement a local, regulated cannabis industry with the mandate of our voters from 2016.

The Coastside Cannabis Coalition supports this measure to allow and locally regulate commercial, greenhouse nursery cultivation of immature cannabis plants in existing greenhouse sites in the City's A-1 Zoning District.

We believe that the required security, restricted access, and environmental protection measures included in state cannabis regulations already address many of the community's concerns regarding cannabis cultivation on the coast. Since these plants do not contain THC, the cultivation of immature plants holds the least amount of perceived risk for the community. Immature plants are a smart place to start our local cannabis licensing and regulatory structure.

Passing this measure would support our local famers and nursery operators by allowing them to get involved in cannabis related economic opportunities which many have repeatedly ask for since Prop 64 was passed. The County has already allowed the cultivation of cannabis plants in agriculturally zoned land, and is supporting out-of-county investors in coming to properties in the HMB area to begin licensed cannabis operations. The small number of eligible cultivation facilities in HMB are owned by local families who have been contributing to our community for generations. We should not keep our neighbors and local farmers from accessing these same time sensitive opportunities.

Additionally, passing this measure would allow our community to have local control of our cannabis regulations so that HMB residents and coastsiders can decide what is best for our local community instead of out-of-town and out-of-county speculators.

Learn more at:


/s/ Dustin Cline, Co-Founder Coastside Cannabis Coalition

/s/ Lauren Silberman, Co-Founder Coastside Cannabis Coalition

Argumento EN CONTRA

Vote NO on GG.

Allowing commerical cultivation of immature cannabis plants in HMB gives the cannabis industry a foothold from which it will aggressively lobby to be allowed to grow mature marijuana plants, sell marijuana products, and manufacture marijuana concentrates and edibles. This is their stated goal. The body of evidence showing the significant public healty, safety, and environmental threats posed by this industry continues to grow as documented in a recent report, Lessons Learned From Marijuana Legalization in Four States and DC by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (

Marijuana cultivation could have significant negative environmental impacts on our fragile coastal environment due to high water and energy demands. Opening the door to this industry not only puts our environment at risk but also our youth - by sending a message that marijuana is "just like any other crop" which normalizes its use and contributes to their belief that marijuana is harmless.

Representatives of the San Mateo County Health Department have testified to the known risk to youth of "normalizing" the production, distribution, and use of marijuana.

Growing marijuana in HMB will displace existing crops which we will never get back, permanently harming our farmers and the many Latino workers.

Religious leaders, the school community and its leaders, and the Latino community are all opposed to commerical cannabis in HMB. Public sentiment as seen in many meetings is against commerical cannabis in HMB. Join with us and vote NO on GG.

The oversaturated California cannabis industry produces 13.5 million pounds of pot per year while only 2.5 million pounds is consumed by California residents. It makes no sense to cultivate more of this plant especially when it poses such a risk to our youth, the environment, and our community.

/s/ Anne Martin, President, Coastsiders Against Commerical Marijuana

/s/ Rose Brody, MD, Secretary, Coastsiders Against Commerical Marijuana

/s/ Joaquin Jimenez 

Refutación al argumento A FAVOR

We need to firmly debunk this pot industry talking point: True, 69% of HMB voted for Proposition 64. But there is a difference in support for personal use and support (or opposition) to commerical production and sale. Recent professional, reputable polling by Emerson College Polling in New York and Mason-Dixon Polling in Illinois show well under half of respondents support commerical pot activities while still supporting personal use. Marin County voted for Proposition 64 by 69% yet has banned ALL commercial cannabis activity (except delivery). The same is true here, with most opposing commercial pot.

Nursery starts at the pot industry's foot in the door - the local growers group has stated this clearly as their strategy. First get starts then lobby for mature plant growth, manufacture of concentrates, and storefront sales. Vote NO on Measure GG to prevent this slippery slope!

Only a small group supports commerical pot growing in HMB - it is not fair for them to overrule the large number of people who oppose commercial pot activity - school community leaders, religious community leaders, many in the Latino community, and the San Mateo County Public Health Department.

Commercial pot will not save local agriculture - in fact, it would likely displace existing crop production which we will never get back if this does not work out for pot.

Pot supporters say we need local laws to have local control. The best local control is the law we have now - a prohibition on all commericial pot activity - let's keep that by voting NO on Measure GG!


/s/ Anne Martin, President, Coastsiders Against Commercial Marijuana

/s/ Rosa Brody, MD, Secretary, Coastsiders Against Commercial Marijuana

/s/ Joaquin Jimenez

Refutación al argumento EN CONTRA

We believe that regulating and controlling the legal cannabis industry on a local level will promote a Healthier, Safer, and Stronger Half Moon Bay.

This measure would empower our farmers to grow IMMATURE CANNABIS PLANTS ONLY - nothing that could be consumed or processed into a consumable form without further cultivation and processing. Nothing grown could ever pose a threat to our community. This ordinance would only support Half Moon Bay's historic agriculture community.

More importantly, as reported by the Washington Post, common sense community regulations reduce teen use of cannabis, alcohol, tobacco, and heroin.* A more recent article concluded that "loosening cannabis laws has not led to large increases in the drug's use among young people and in some cases, none at all."**

Without local regulation and the opportunity for local businesses to control all aspects of our local cannabis market, our community will be subject to the whims and market conditions of those around us.

We support a local, regulated cannabis industry within the context of what is right for our unique community, in order to support local medical patients access safe, regulated cannabis products and local farmers access economic opportunities to keep our jobs, taxes, and decision making local.

*Following marijuana legilation, teen drug use is down in Colorado (Washington Post, December 11, 2017)

** Impact of marijuana legalization in California on teens uncertain" (EdSource, January 18, 2018)


/s/ Dustin Cline, Co-founder, Coastside Cannabis Coalition

/s/ Lauren Silberman, Co-founder, Coastside Cannabis Coalition 

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