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Oakland Approves Four Marijuana Factories

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Filed: Timeline

Oakland, California, gave preliminary approval Tuesday night to a plan to license four large-scale marijuana factories in a move intended to take its largely underground pot counterculture to new corporate levels.

The controversial plan makes Oakland the first city in the nation to license wholesale pot cultivation , or what one proponent called the "Silicon Valley of Canabis." The 5-2 vote came after two hours of heated debate.

"This is a monumental step forward," Dale Gieringer, an Oakland resident and marijuana activist.

The measure, which pitted small and midsized "gardeners" against larger producers, initially allows the large farms to sell only to medical marijuana dispensaries. The ordinance must still be approved on a second, final vote.

The cash-strapped city stands to benefit later if voters pass a November initiative to legalize recreational use of marijuana. In addition, Oakland's four marijuana factories would pay an annual fee of $211,000, which would support a city staff to ensure they are operated safely and securely.

The ordinance has provoked a backlash from small-time growers who fear exclusion from the booming pot trade.

"This is about big money," Gieringer told ABCNews.com. "These are, by far, the largest facilities ever proposed in the United States. With only four competitors, it's going to be an oligopoly."

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/US/oakland-approves-marijuana-factories/story?id=11209664

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Filed: Other Country: Afghanistan
Timeline

Oakland, California, gave preliminary approval Tuesday night to a plan to license four large-scale marijuana factories in a move intended to take its largely underground pot counterculture to new corporate levels.

The controversial plan makes Oakland the first city in the nation to license wholesale pot cultivation , or what one proponent called the "Silicon Valley of Canabis." The 5-2 vote came after two hours of heated debate.

"This is a monumental step forward," Dale Gieringer, an Oakland resident and marijuana activist.

The measure, which pitted small and midsized "gardeners" against larger producers, initially allows the large farms to sell only to medical marijuana dispensaries. The ordinance must still be approved on a second, final vote.

The cash-strapped city stands to benefit later if voters pass a November initiative to legalize recreational use of marijuana. In addition, Oakland's four marijuana factories would pay an annual fee of $211,000, which would support a city staff to ensure they are operated safely and securely.

The ordinance has provoked a backlash from small-time growers who fear exclusion from the booming pot trade.

"This is about big money," Gieringer told ABCNews.com. "These are, by far, the largest facilities ever proposed in the United States. With only four competitors, it's going to be an oligopoly."

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/US/oakland-approves-marijuana-factories/story?id=11209664

Maybe Maybe not.

It depends if a Coop is formed.

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Filed: Timeline

article continues:

The federal government remains a thorn in the side of the pot trade. DEA agents continue to crack down on major growers. This month, agents raided a collective in Mendocino, California, that complied with the county's new cultivation ordinance, ripping out all 99 of its plants.

"The DEA came in and said, 'We don't care what the sheriff said,'" said Gieringer, the state director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. "We have no assurance of good DEA behavior. There a lot of uncertainties and questions and risks."

Oakland has long been a pioneer in the marijuana trade: It become the first American city to license medical marijuana dispensaries and to make pot-related crimes the lowest police priority.

Cannabis cultivation is widespread in the city and wholesale marijuana sales totaled an estimated $28 million last year, according to a city staff report.

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