Central California

Kern County voters reject all cannabis measures

Two marijuana ballot measures were resoundingly rejected by Kern County voters on Tuesday, with another appearing to lose by a narrow margin.

Measure J, which would have legalized medical marijuana dispensaries in the unincorporated areas of Kern County, fell well short. With all precincts reporting, 62 percent of voters rejected the measure while 38 percent supported it.

Another unincorporated county measure, Measure K, which would have legalized both recreational and medical dispensaries, lost by 54 to 46 percent.

The lone Bakersfield measure, Measure O, also failed to pass muster, 55 percent to 45 percent.

The three ballot measures asked voters to rescind bans on marijuana dispensaries in Kern County and the city of Bakersfield.

Measure J was brought forward by medical marijuana activists Jeff Jarvis and Heather Epps with local group Kern Citizens for Patient Rights, aside from rescinding the ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, it would have levied a 7.5 percent business tax to be levied on the dispensaries.

Measure K was largely funded by an industrial real estate investment group from Pacific Palisades-based Industrial Partners Group. It offered slightly more restrictive zoning rules than Measure J, while capping the amount of dispensaries at 35..

It would have created two zones along Interstate 5 for cultivation, processing and distribution facilities, and it would have applied a 5 percent gross receipts tax on any marijuana business including dispensaries.

Measure O was also brought to voters by Jarvis, Epps and the Kern Citizens for Patient Rights. It would have allowed medical marijuana dispensaries to operate within the city limits, applying a 7.5 percent business tax on dispensaries.

© 2018 The Bakersfield Californian (Bakersfield, Calif.). Visit The Bakersfield Californian at www.bakersfield.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.