By Dane Kuntz
Arvin is a small, almost unknown, town in Kern County that is taking the lead in improving it’s economic status with a booming industry.
Arvin voted in favor of moving towards passing regulatory cultivation of marijuana with a four to one vote.
The hope is that outside dispensaries will reach out to Arvin for supplies of cannabis.
Although Bakersfield has been the center of Kern County making innovations to become the major metropolis of the area, it is missing out on a substantial opportunity.
Adding new freeways and pushing for upgraded plans for a new public transportation system isn’t going to benefit the city’s economy the way that cultivating marijuana is going to benefit Arvin’s.
On top of banning commercial marijuana from being sold within the city, Bakersfield still has a ban in place regarding growing marijuana outdoors.
Arvin on the other hand has made the choice to monitor, regulate, and of course, tax the indoor cultivation of recreational marijuana.
Just like the largest and wealthiest cities in California.
Melina Delkic reported in Newsweek in her article, “L.A. Approves Marijuana Rules for Recreational Dispensaries,” that Los Angeles made $21 million in tax revenue from the sales of medical marijuana in 2016.
The city is expecting to gain $50 million by the end of 2017.
According to the article, “Arvin Considers Allowing Indoor Cannabis Cultivation,” posted on Bakersfield.com, Mayor Jose Gurrola said it will bring in money that he does not want to pass up on. He explained, “In light of our budgetary situation… we are moving forward with this…if we regulate it, we can take advantage of potential tax revenue.”
Colorado sets the example with the recreational marijuana industry. Since January of 2014, it has accumulated $506 million from taxing marijuana.
This booming industry is not going anywhere.
Arvin residents will greatly benefit from the boost in their local economy, and the new jobs that will subsequently be available. But, financial benefits are not the only reasons for regulation.
Regulation can keep the public safe and healthy. The use of marijuana seems inevitable, and is comparable to consuming alcohol.
Providing cannabis for a dispensary, with regulations, ensures safe handling practices and takes away the risk of it being laced with other drugs.
Regulation simply allows individuals to grow the plant with government measures in place.
The entire west coast of the nation has legalized recreational marijuana, and the number will continue to rise until it is federal law.
The City of Arvin is adjoining with California’s stance as a state, and has made a step in the right direction to secure its economic future.