By Len Ramirez

HALF MOON BAY (KPIX 5) — Growing pot in Half Moon Bay may soon get a little bit easier, and a lot more legal.

The city council is moving to allow commercial cultivation of pot in re-purposed greenhouses, but no new pot greenhouses can be built.

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The city is hoping to boost the area’s agricultural industry.

Half Moon Bay’s Vice Mayor Dr. Deborah Penrose said, “If you go with 70 percent of the population who voted, they’re not against cannabis. They’re for it.”

Penrose says the city council heard the voice of its voters who strongly supported Prop. 64, which legalized marijuana for adults.

Now, she says it’s time for the city to act and become a player in California’s emerging pot industry.

“If we’re for it, we want to go for it and go for it now,” she said.

The city is putting together an ordinance that would allow Half Moon Bay landowners to repurpose greenhouses for cannabis cultivation.

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It would not allow for new greenhouses to be built specifically for pot, but could spark a comeback for the area’s agriculture industry, which is down.

But some people in town have mixed feelings.

David Khoury’s family owns Cunha’s Country Market, which has been a fixture on Main Street since 1900.

He worries pot production could hurt the city’s family-friendly tourist industry.

“I just have a feeling that it could hurt the city’s image and discourage people from coming into town,” Khoury said.

As for image, Santa Rosa resident David Stein said, “Most people are okay with it now. Especially people around here. People aren’t shocked anymore when you hear about someone smoking a joint.”

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The city says tourism alone is not enough to sustain Half Moon Bay long-term, and that pot production could help out of work farmers and laborers.