City of San Bernardino Citizen-Backed Initiative
The California Cannabis Coalition called in its network of volunteers and led the effort to qualify the citizen-backed initiative, the San Bernardino Regulate Marijuana Act, for the ballot.
The City of San Bernardino is a city of over 200,000 people located approximately 60 miles East of Los Angeles. Located at one of the original mission sites, San Bernardino was incorporated in 1853 and has a rich and proud history. In recent years however, the City of San Bernardino has struggled with bankruptcy and a moribund local economy.
Since 2013, numerous city officials have expressed the need to change cannabis policy in the city. Recognizing that their ban on cannabis was both ineffective and expensive to prosecute, a majority of the City Council and the City Attorney have agitated for a more reasonable and rational approach.
In early 2016, the California Cannabis Coalition conducted a city-wide poll, moderated numerous focus groups, and engaged in an extensive community outreach effort to help gauge the electorate's view on the cannabis industry and the role it could play in San Bernardino's future. This three prong approach showed that an overwhelming 80% of the citizens of San Bernardino supported a regulated cannabis industry that would provide the city with an economic boost and an additional source of revenue to the city's general fund.
Using this data, CCC helped local citizens craft an initiative that would spur development of a portion of the city's vacant and underutilized industrial land, create hundreds of local jobs, and increase the revenue of the City of San Bernardino by approximately 20%.
This initiative gathered the signatures and garnered the support of 10% of the city's voters in less than 30 days.
This citizen's initiative will be before the San Bernardino City Council on July 5th, 2016. At this council meeting, the council can adopt the SBRMA or place the SBRMA on the November 8th, 2016 election.