In October of 2016, Claremont’s city council got together to discuss local policies on commercial marijuana businesses. During that meeting, a unanimous vote determined the banishment of marijuana dispensaries, delivery services, and cultivation in the city of Claremont. The growth of marijuana in the city of Claremont is also outlawed. However, the topic was not resolved and the decision was only a temporary one. A sunset date was placed on the discussion, so city leaders could later address it again when more knowledge of the matter was available. That delayed discussion took place just last month, on Feb. 12, and the outcome of the talk was the same: the city’s prohibition of such uses and distribution of marijuana was extended. However, one major difference was apparent—this time the vote came without a sunset date, or plan for further discussion. As such, it is presumed that this ban will continue on for the foreseeable future. As the California statewide law permits, only personal use of marijuana is still allowed in Claremont while commercial businesses and dispensaries are prohibited in Claremont. This means that the residents of Claremont must continue to leave city limits in order to legally procure marijuana. However, United States federal law still prohibits the use, possession and distribution of marijuana. During the Obama administration, a more hands-off approach was taken so the use of marijuana in certain states was legal; however, now during the Trump administration, Trump allows for federal prosecutors to crack down on the use of marijuana even in states where it is technically legal. However, several states and public opinion is in favor of the legalization of marijuana.
Again, the decision of the panel was unanimous. Council members seem to generally agree that legalizing marijuana dispensaries in Claremont would only lead to a less safe community. As a result, the urgency ordinance that implements the permanent version of this ban was passed and will be enacted and implemented as of Jan. 1, 2020. However, despite the council’s consensus being in agreement of the ban, there are still some mixed opinions on where to go from there. For example, former councilman Joe Lyons has long advocated that the city develop a medical marijuana ordinance. Certain other members of the city council pondered the potential merit of such implementations, giving thought to what next steps should follow up this ordinance. Councilmen Ed Reece and Jed Leano offered for Claremont to develop a specific system of regulation when it comes to the selling and use of marijuana. They argue that Claremont could benefit from an original framework that might take into account legal distribution of marijuana for recreational and medical purposes as two separate matters. As a cancer survivor, Reece emphasized that this matter should be looked at in a more broad light, so that the council might consider the implementation of varying regulations that take into account potential merits of medical marijuana separately from those of recreational use.
Regardless of the varying opinions and thoughts on the matter, only one thing is certain for the future. The ordinance will make illegal all local commercial marijuana businesses with no sunset date set for rediscussion of the matter. Whether or not a unique framework will be made to follow up with this ordinance is unclear. Further actions are up for speculation.