California City to Create Official Medical Marijuana Cultivation Zone

The progressive cannabis city of Arcata, California is on the verge of becoming the first U.S. jurisdiction to designate land specifically intended to promote and regulate pot production.

According to NextCity.org, in May, the Arcata City Council unanimously passed the creation of a “Medical Marijuana Innovation Zone.” This gives city officials direct control over pot production—as opposed to the state attempting to do so—far removed from local, immediate concerns.

The most likely initial location for the medi-weed zone will be on the industrial outskirts of town, potentially in an abandoned logging processing plant. Ultimately, the zone will democratically expand to include other grow sites and is anticipated to be established in the next six months.

The zone concept is unique in that it establishes rules for individual pot farmers based on land-use priorities, rather than the typical approach to only regulate pot as a “drug.”

Arcata is located in Humboldt County in Northern California’s Emerald Triangle, home to arguably the world’s finest outdoor weed. A 2011 report revealed $415 million of Humboldt’s $1.6 billion economy was derived from cannabis

Eventually, Arcata’s medical marijuana zone could serve as a model for other cities seeking more comprehensive regulation of legal cannabis.

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