by Garth Meyer
An initiative that would lift the Redondo Beach ban on retail marijuana and allow up to three local dispensaries is being circulated by a group calling itself the Economic Resource and Development Coalition of Southern California (ERDCSC).
Organizers hope to place the measure on the November 2022 ballot. Initiatives require signatures from 10 percent of registered voters to be placed on a ballot.
“We are going to bring in 8,000 signatures, which is about 40 percent more than we need,” said Barry Walker, an ERDCSC board member. Walker is also executive director of Dub Brothers Management, the parent company of TradeCraft Farms, a marijuana dispensary based in Los Angeles — with two retail locations.
The initiative was filed with the Redondo Beach city attorney’s office in July.
“I have yet to read it,” said Mayor Bill Brand.
The initiative states that the city could not impose an additional sales tax, and that if the number of retailer permit-holders drops under three, a 30-day application period would be opened by the city manager.
Walker responded last week by e-mail to an Easy Reader inquiry.
“We were moving our headquarters from Skid Row, where we do a lot of work to a new location. Three story building! I’m sore and tired,” he said.
Reasons given for why the measure is being sought include the “clear demand” from residents going elsewhere for marijuana, causing Redondo to lose out on potential tax revenue.
“Three stores is basically one per 22,000 people,” Walker said. “That’s a very fair balance. We noticed that Redondo Beach had overwhelmingly supported Prop 64, but has yet to show any progress on creating regulations and a licensing process for the city.”
As for tax revenue, Walker said part of the initiative as written could change.
“We won’t impose a tax on ourselves,” he said. “But we are encouraging the city to have this conversation. We’re not opposed to (a tax). Quite frankly, cannabis is already overtaxed.”
Signature gathering has begun, he said.
Walker also owns Cozy Nomad Designs antique furniture, a pop-up shop in Riviera Village.
“For us, getting the current ban lifted and a process to legalize in place ASAP is not as important as spending the time and effort to make sure legalization in Redondo Beach is done right. That is our ultimate goal,” Walker said. ER