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Desert Sun: Could Yucca Valley be California’s next marijuana boom town?

What makes Yucca Valley such a lucrative target for industrial growers is that the YV industrial areas already have the infrastructure in place (gas, water, power, etc.) A KCDZ poll asks if the town should “permit the cultivation and manufacturing of marijuana and marijuana products: 1,158 responses. About 73 percent of people responded yes. In the Past general elections, voters of YV resoundingly voted Yes for recreational marijuana.

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Desert Hot Springs has come to be known as Southern California’s marijuana Mecca, but a now a High Desert town a few miles north on Highway 62 is poised to take that crown, if it wants it.

Yucca Valley residents have gathered enough signatures to force the town council to take action on the prospect of legalizing marijuana cultivation in the community before the next general election.

The town council recently held a public hearing where some residents—who have been offered tens of thousands of dollars to sell or lease their land to cultivators, though some said those offers have not been legitimate—have made impassioned pleas for the conservative community to embrace the state’s hottest new industry.

Part of what makes Yucca Valley so lucrative is that, unlike Desert Hot Springs, many of the city’s industrial areas are already connected to power and water lines, reducing the amount of time and overhead expenses it would take for a cultivation facility to get up and running.

 Terri Lee Ryan, a commercial real estate agent with Baddour & Associates in Palm Springs, said she recently picked up an industrial listing in Yucca Valley which she plans to market to cultivators, if the council gives the green light to cannabis.

“It is poised for an industry like marijuana to help the community with jobs and the value of the real estate and to build up the infrastructure,” she said.

Read more: ‘Prohibition is over,’ Palm Springs paves the way for recreational marijuana use

Yucca Valley’s citizen petition, recently certified by the San Bernardino County Registrar’s office, aims to legalize only commercial cultivation and manufacturing of medical and recreational cannabis, but no dispensaries, delivery or other retail operations. The town’s ban on cannabis would technically remain in place, although businesses could apply for exemptions to operate in areas of the city zoned for industrial use.

Town Clerk Lesley Copeland said the council ordered an impact study, which will be presented at a meeting on Dec. 5. At that meeting the council will have the option of adopting the petition as it was written, or calling for a special election to let city voters decide the fate of cannabis in Yucca Valley, a town of about 20,000 people.

“If they don’t jump on this, other nearby communities could do this and they lose their window to be profitable,” Ryan said.

Resident and radio show host Jill Carey Michaels said the vacant industrial areas around her home have attracted homeless residents and become a dumping ground for abandoned vehicles. She said she worries about drug use and what some of the people staying on the land leave behind.

Michaels said she and her husband don’t have particularly strong feelings about marijuana itself, but they think cannabis cultivation could revitalize the city.

Extended story The Desert Sun

By Corinne S Kennedy, The Desert Sun. Nov. 28, 2017 

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2 Responses to Desert Sun: Could Yucca Valley be California’s next marijuana boom town?

  1. Jeff Sessions December 7, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    I doubt that the at-large city council’s loyal voting bloc, all members of the same evangelical christian church; numbering + will allow this to happen. In light of the fact that the citizen’s initiative was approved as submitted with the limitation of no taxes to be imposed by the city for 2 years and the only benefit to the city would be a few local jobs and rental income to the industrial park company. There vote is scheduled for June, by which time the companies that would be considering operation here will be at a disadvantage to the ones that go into operation 4-5 months earlier and already harvesting and delivering crop to dispensaries. IF the town of Yucca Valley had wanted the benefits of new manufacturing jobs related to Cannabis this would have been addressed long ago; this is just “lip service” to the issue. At the city council meeting, on the agenda but without mention during the proceedings was documented the decision made by the city council in private their concession to State law; to whit, the right of individuals in the State to grow the 6 plants allowed for personal use. The restrictions placed upon residents of Yucca Valley are way outside the “reasonable” local city or County control as far as odor control so as not to be detectable by anyone outside a residence which would require expensive carbon filter air exhaust systems, ONLY inside cultivation and a yearly fee of $240 per residence. “Reefer Madness” is alive and well here.

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  2. Branson Hunter
    Branson Hunter December 8, 2017 at 6:25 am

    The YV town council neither has any common sense, nor a collective heart and soul. Seniors, Americans with Disabilities, veterans and families simply cannot afford a $240 tax to grow a harmless but useful plant.

    If Congress member Cook has his way, along with the town council who lacks a spine and a collective, reasonable brain, America’s children may about to be shut out of national parks — and the town council is too timid and dogmatic to speak out for residents and citizens — and the children of Yucca Valley who’s families cannot afford the oppressive new fees being foisted on the public by Cook and the National Park Service.

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