Kern County Commissioners vote to regulate marijuana

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - In November, California voters approved Proposition 64, legalizing recreational marijuana.

However, cities and counties have the right to regulate it or ban it.

On Wednesday, the Bakersfield City Council voted to uphold an ordinance banning all commercial marijuana activity.

On Thursday, however, Kern County commissioners voted 3-1 in favor of regulating recreational marijuana.

With that vote, commissioners made the recommendation that Kern County get into the business of regulating marijuana, potentially bringing in about $40 million a year from property, sales and tax revenue. 

"It's what we do today as commissioners," District 3 commissioner Melissa Poole said. "And eventually what the Board of Supervisors do with regard to this proposed ordinance, doesn't change what the state of California did last year with regard to prop 64. So with regard to land use, because that's the hat I have on today, I think what the county has proposed is reasonable." 

When chairman Chris Babcock asked the crowd its feeling about the issue, an overwhelming number raised their hands in support of regulation. 

Commissioner Ron Sprague recused himself from the meeting and vote due to business conflicts. 

The issue now goes to the Board of Supervisors.

Their next meeting is Oct 24. 

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