Encinitas bans marijuana sales; surprise throws election in limbo

Encinitas bans marijuana sales; surprise throws election in limbo
The Nov. 8 Encinitas City Council meeting began with a surprise announcement from Bob Echter, the owner of Dramm and Echter, the city’s last large-scale flower grower. He had been the driving force behind the push to allow commercial cultivation of cannabis.

ENCINITAS — Encinitas might not pursue an election that would ask voters whether to allow commercial cultivation of cannabis, after the flower grower who has been the driving force behind the effort proposed a housing plan on his property that would eliminate cannabis from the equation.

The Nov. 8 Encinitas City Council meeting began with a surprise announcement from Bob Echter, the owner of Dramm and Echter, the city’s last large-scale flower grower. 

Echter unveiled a proposal to create an “agrihood” on his property, a single-family or multi-family community built with a working farm as a focus. The plan would divide the 21-acre property into residential and agriculturally zoned parcels, and would take cannabis cultivation off the table.

Echter made the announcement in connection with the city’s discussion of its housing element update, offering the property up as a potential site for the city’s ongoing housing plan efforts. 

“It would allow for my family to continue farming while allowing a unique way for the city to meet its housing needs,” Echter said. 

But the announcement’s reverberations were felt during the last discussion item on the council’s five-hour agenda, an interim ban on commercial marijuana activities. 

Several council members pointed out that Echter’s reversal could eliminate the need for the city to place a measure on the 2018 ballot asking voters to decide the fate of commercial cultivation. 

Mayor Catherine Blakespear brought this up in connection with her attempt to carve out an exception for medical marijuana delivery in the proposed interim ban. 

Councilwoman Tasha Boerner Horvath said that it was premature to say that the ballot measure was off the table until the agrihood concept is discussed further and is actually accepted by the city. 

5 Comments
  1. Tasha 2 weeks ago

    Ridiculous. Way to cave in to NIMBYs and drug prohibitionists. I will personally give the maximum amount to anyone running to oppose these morons:

    Catherine S. Blakespear, cblakespear@encinitasca.gov
    Tony Kranz, tkranz@encinitasca.gov
    Tasha Boerner Horvath, tboerner@encinitasca.gov
    Joe Mosca, jmosca@encinitasca.gov
    Mark Muir, mmuir@encinitasca.gov

    65% of the people voted to legalize marijuana. How do you expect to win re-election?

  2. Uncut dj 2 weeks ago

    This was ABS suggestion anyway 65% of the people voted and the one guy is gonna have monopoly on it I don’t think so and as for letting delivery happen that’s just dumb talk that’s gonna happen regardless of whether they allow it or not so they may as well get used to it and try and make money off it morons

  3. Lorri 2 weeks ago

    As a citizen of Encinitas, I hope the City still puts this on the ballot, as was promised. As the person above mentioned, we have voted on this once, and 65% voted to allow legalized cannabis in our city after January, 2018. Just because one grower has decided he might be able to help us out on our housing element does not give the city the right to say we don’t get to vote again. If that happens, I know I would not be voting again for the people who had already promised to put this on the ballot. Mr. Echter’s plan may happen, or it may not. There are a lot of hurdles to his proposed project. Do the right thing Encinitas City Council. Put this to a vote as promised.

  4. gilbert Foerster 2 weeks ago

    Echter unveiled a proposal to create an “agrihood” on his property, a single-family or multi-family community built with a working farm as a focus. The plan would divide the 21-acre property into residential and agriculturally zoned parcels, and would take cannabis cultivation off the table.

    This proposal doesn’t cut it. It is not Mr Echter’s right to create a “hood” on the property in question. I would support any legal agricultural use of the property. I would never support any housing element on the property. The property is zoned “Agricultural use, in perpetuity”. Time without end, or until the residents of the City vote to remove Agricultural land as a zoning category in the City. Just as this category was created by a citizens of the City vote, it must be removed by a vote of the citizens of the City, not the 5 member City Council.

  5. Jeff M 1 week ago

    He is using weed as leverage to force the city to rezone his property. Threatening to grow weed or let him build houses… devious and brilliant strategy.

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