California City leaders take marijuana cues from other cities

Community leaders embark on fact finding missions

CALIFORNIA CITY, Calif. - Like many in California City, Police Chief Eric Hurtado never quite imagined he would be working to regulate the growth of legal medical marijuana.

"I spent my career fighting crime, and growing marijuana was one of those crimes that people went to jail for," explained Hurtado.

But on Friday Hurtado, City Manager Tom Weil, the Fire chief, city councilmembers and more went to California's Desert Hot Springs on one of many marijuana fact finding missions.

The goal, according to Hurtado, is to review other cities' facilities and procedures so California City can avoid their mistakes.

One tip California City will adopt: police access to 24 hour security cameras  in all marijuana warehouses and offices.

The marijuana grown in Cal City will be tracked and traced by the city to ensure it is being used only for medical purposes, not recreational. 

City Manager Tom Weil described an academic vision of marijuana.

"We're really focused on medical marijuana. We actually agreed to partnerships with UCLA in other areas because we really want to establish that research connection with the higher level of institutes...we'd like...Cal City to kind of be the epicenter for that type of research," said Weil.

This, all in anticipation of January 2018, when the state will begin to issue licenses for legal commercial sale of marijuana. cal city hoping to collect millions from tax revenue and stimulate their economy.

A fun California City fact for you courtesy of the city manager.

The city is prepared to award a total of 200 marijuana cultivation and manufacturing permits. Yet while they are expecting a "Green Rush" for business, due to the city's small population, they're only allowed one dispensary.

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