Capitol Alert

Pot web site puts $1 million into possible California initiative

Samples of medical Marijuana is available for costumers to smell before they purchase at Canna Care Inc., a medical marijuana dispensary in Sacramento in 2009. Legalization proponets have filed two proposed measures for the November 2016 ballot.
Samples of medical Marijuana is available for costumers to smell before they purchase at Canna Care Inc., a medical marijuana dispensary in Sacramento in 2009. Legalization proponets have filed two proposed measures for the November 2016 ballot.

A popular marijuana dispensary mapping website has contributed $1 million to a campaign committee for a possible November 2016 pot legalization ballot measure.

Irvine-based Weedmaps Media, LLC, which runs Weedmaps.com, put the money into the company-sponsored “Californians for Sensible Reform” to support a possible 2016 initiative.

What that measure will be remains unclear. Earlier this week, marijuana proponents filed two proposed measures to qualify for next year’s fall ballot, with possibly more to come.

The more substantive of the two, the “California Craft Cannabis Act,” was submitted by “cannabis freedom lawyers” Omar Figueroa and Heather L. Burke.

“Californians love freedom and are ready to legalize the responsible use of cannabis by adults,” Figueroa said in a statement last week. “This move is a great step in the right direction.”

The initiative would create a California Cannabis Commission to regulate the industry. Marijuana sales would be subject to all applicable taxes, with additional taxes allowed up to 30 percent. Larger-scale, commercial grows would be subject to additional rules and tax regulation. The law also would preempt any local marijuana restrictions.

The second proposed ballot measure, Californians for Compassionate and Sensible Access, would override local marijuana restrictions.

Founded in 2008, WeedMaps helps medical marijuana and recreational pot smokers find dispensaries or “recreational centers” in their area – “essentially, Yelp! for pot,” according to a press release. Weedmaps CEO Justin Hartfield, one of the officers of “Californians for Sensible Reform,” did not return a call seeking comment.

“What Amazon did for books, that’s what I’m going to do for marijuana,” Hartfield told the Orange County Register in 2014. The company reportedly earned $25 million in 2013.

Call Jim Miller, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5521. Follow him on Twitter @jimmiller2.

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