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Cannabis cultivation businesses seen as a boon for San Jacinto

By in Press Enterprise on June 17, 2017

By Craig Shultz

Scott Miller and Andrew Kotyuk are ready to talk about anything — but pot.

The San Jacinto Council members do not smoke marijuana, but as leaders of the only city in the western Riverside County that has approved laws to allow cannabis cultivation businesses, they say that’s all anyone wants to talk to them about.

As Californians voted to approve the recreational use of cannabis in the November election, San Jacinto voters approved a plan laying out taxes and fees for businesses that grow pot.

Since that day, and much debate — many of it heated and emotional — the council has put in place parameters that will allow three indoor and three outdoor cultivation businesses in the city.

San Jacinto’s ordinance is unique, as most cities that allow such businesses restrict them to medical marijuana and indoor cultivation.

“It’s for cannabis, period,” Kotyuk said. “Obviously, our focus is more toward medical.”

He added that San Jacinto is an agricultural area that offers plenty of sunshine to grow plants — including cannabis — outdoors.

Now that rules have been agreed to, City Manager Rob Johnson and his staff are creating an application process. He said applications will be available starting Monday, July 10.

“Most likely, these operations will be up and running in early 2018,” he said.

Miller, who is serving this year as San Jacinto’s mayor, said the application process — including the cost of licenses — is a key to success. He said it won’t be a “first-come, first-serve process.”

“It’s not going to be like Black Friday with everybody sitting outside of City Hall waiting for the first application,” he said.

“We need to create an environment where the good business people thrive and the illegal ones don’t want to come here.”

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