by David Downs
Here's your Wednesday Roundup: 1. The second and final reading of Oakland's new medical cannabis cultivation ordinance passed last night, 6-0 with 2 abstentions, the Tribune reports. More than 100 businesses are likely to respond to the city's request for proposals this fall, which will result in four permits issued January 2011.
2. California Watch has put together a map of donors to Prop 19. As the deadline for submitting quarterly campaign finance reports to the state nears, expect to see a lot more news about who's spending what, where. Notable recent donors include libertarian activist Philip D. Harvey of North Carolina, who donated $100,000 to a committee supporting Prop 19. Harvey works on family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention in the developing world. His company is also a leading maker of “adult entertainment.” In opposition, the California Narcotics Officers Association recently donated $20,500 to anti-19 campaign Public Safety First. Insiders say anti-19 allies like law enforcement lack the funds for a major advertising fight this fall. But voter opinion appears entrenched and less susceptible to positive or negative ads.
3. Meanwhile, opponents of the Prop 19 ballot measure are warning of deadly black mold outbreaks if the plant becomes legal. They note indoor grows provide the right conditions like heat, moisture, and plant matter. “If the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 passes, 1/3 of California will be at risk of serious BLACK MOLD CONTAMINATION as well as Aspergillus exposure. And how will anyone be able to control the contamination when anyone can cultivate marijuana in their home or backyard at any time without supervision?” Medical marijuana industry insiders say mold contamination is a real issue. Some want tighter regulations on cultivation of the plant inhaled or ingested by millions of Californians monthly.
4. Washington, DC, finished approval of eight medical marijuana dispensaries this week, twelve years after local voters approved use of the drug by the ill, the Drug War Chronicle reports. Congress had been blocking DC from permitting dispensaries until a change of guard took hold in Washington two years ago.