Reading the iced tea leaves at last week’s City Council meeting to decide whether cannabis retail stores are appropriate for Culver City, Jim Clarke jumped the fence and changed sides.
Opposed, Mr. Clarke voted with the backers for the sake of unity – not because he changed his mind.
The question was put to him:
Is approving marijuana retail stores adjacent to residential neighborhoods a mistake?
“We will find out when the community comes out to public meetings,” said Mr. Clarke.
“Let’s be clear. We are not putting the dispensaries in a residential neighborhood, obviously, but in a commercial zone that is adjacent.”
Not everybody is likely to be distantly removed.
“For some people, there only may be an alley that separates their home from the back of a marijuana dispensary,” Mr. Clarke said.
The Councilman concurs with Mayor Jeff Cooper that the ubiquitous presence of cannabis going to be a runt-sized revenue generator for City Hall.
“Everybody wants a piece of the pie, and by the time it gets down to us, there is not going to be much left,” Mr. Clarke said.
“If we try to impose a certain amount of taxes on our own, it either will drive up the price points – or it is going to go underground.”
Cannabis is a cash business.
Entrepreneurs brag they are earning tens of millions. Fine.
Who is going to set aside the government’s due?
“I have no problem with manufacturing and distribution,” said Mr. Clarke.
“You sort of have the market to yourselves. You are not competing with all of these retailers who will be surrounding us in Los Angeles.”