CONCORD (KPIX 5) – A vote in Contra Costa County Tuesday afternoon put some significant restrictions on recreational pot sales.

When Proposition 64 passed last November, Emerald City Garden owner Boaz Benzakry called it the end of prohibition.

“We are the Home Depot for cannabis growers,” said Benzakry. “There’s so many people who right now don’t use cannabis because in their mind it’s illegal.”

Starting January 1st, adults 21 and over will legally be able to purchase marijuana for recreational use.

However, Contra Costa County officials in Concord on Tuesday passed an ordinance delaying its implementation.

“Businesses wont be allowed to sell in particular areas until we allow them to sell or to grow or to process,” explained Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia.

The county is also considering other limitations. For example, Prop 64 would allow anyone to grow up six marijuana plants outside.

Supervisors are considering limiting that number to three.

“We want to make sure just like any business that cannabis operations are responsible. That they don’t negatively impact neighbors or communities,” said Gioia.

Boaz told KPIX 5 the new ordinances would have a serious impact on both him and the public.

“Limiting that would of course limit my business, but it also puts some constraints on the customer,” said Boaz.

He says the cost of growing marijuana plants inside is much more expensive and time consuming. If not growing plants within an existing structure, you have to buy a grow tent, have the correct lighting, and water the marijuana yourself.

Outdoors they call it a weed for a reason. You throw a seed out there, even if you don’t do anything, it’s going to grow, said Boaz.

Gioia defended the new ordinances as a sensible precaution.

“This is a new law just taking effect. We want to do it thoughtfully and we’d rather do it right than fast,” said Gioia.

Prop 64 is a state law that only takes affect if cities and counties don’t make new ordinances regarding recreational marijuana that supersede the proposition.

Meanwhile, in Santa Cruz on Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the recreational sale of marijuana in the county without restriction.


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