After cannabis vote, legal medical marijuana dispensaries on brink of closing throughout Kern County

After cannabis vote, legal medical marijuana dispensaries on brink of closing throughout Kern County

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In this file photo the medical marijuana dispensaries Kush King is open for business. The future of the marijuana industry in Kern County was thrown into disarray after voters rejected all three cannabis measures on Tuesday’s ballot. The 20-odd medical marijuana dispensaries that continue to operate legally in unincorporated Kern County are using county permits that are set to expire at the end of November. Without action by the Board of Supervisors, those dispensaries could be shuttered if they do not receive extensions to their permits. And those extensions would only allow the dispensaries to be open into the spring of next year. “It’s a shame,” said Heather Epps, a signatory of two medical marijuana measures voted on in Bakersfield and Kern County. “I feel bad for the patients, really, who are going to suffer.” The three measures up for vote sought to overturn a ban in both Kern County and Bakersfield on marijuana dispensaries. Two measures brought forward by Epps’ group, Kern Citizens for Patient Rights, would have allowed for medical marijuana dispensaries in either the county or the city. Another measure, brought forward by an industrial real estate investment group, Industrial Partners Group, would have allowed for both medical and recreational dispensaries, while capping the number of dispensaries to 35. Now that residents of both Bakersfield and the county have spoken out against the shops, a path to legal pot within the county remains unclear. And with a deadline fast approaching, many dispensaries could soon move underground. “They are going to operate illegally,” Epps said of the dispensaries. “They are going to move out of that building that they’re in and they’re going to move into a house in your neighborhood.” David Brust, co-founder of the group, Bakersfield Residents Against Pot Shops, looked at the election as […]

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