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Marijuana sales banned in Santa Clara; temporary councilmember to be appointed

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Santa Clarans won’t see the budding commercial cannabis industry bloom in their city any time soon.


The Santa Clara City Council on Tuesday approved a permanent ban on all cannabis-related activity in the Mission City with a 5-1 vote. Mayor Lisa Gillmor cast the lone no vote, saying there’s room to discuss options other than a ban and gauge residents’ feelings further.


City officials claimed the decision doesn’t contradict voters’ 2018 approval of Measure M, which authorized a 10 percent tax on recreational cannabis sales and a $25-per-square-foot tax on cultivation space. Instead, they said the measure simply asked whether or not the city should collect taxes if a cannabis program were to be established.


City Manager Deanna Santana said the council can undo the decision at any time. The ban is to help ensure the city has time to consider its own taxes and regulations, she added, if and when sales are approved.


“Cannabis is here — the nose never fails to tell you — whether we like it or not,” Councilmember Teresa O’Neill said. “I don’t know that I’m ready for a ban, but maybe we put a pause on it and waste all the effort that has gone into it.”


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