Oakland Legalizes Large-Scale Marijuana Farms

Oakland farmers have a new crop choice – marijuana.
The Oakland City Council has approved a measure to allow large-scale marijuana farms within city limits.
Permits have been granted for four industrial-sized marijuana farms that can be up to 100,000 square feet. The decision is expected to play a role in Prop. 19 that legalizes marijuana for recreational use in California.
Potential marijuana farms must pay a $5,000 fee to cover administrative costs, apply for a permit with an annual fee of $211,000 and provide proof of $3 million in insurance.
The current dispensaries in Oakland brought in around $28 million in 2009, but taxes are expected to increase from 1.8 percent to as much as 12 percent. Small marijuana farmers are not pleased with the increase because the tax may put them out of business.
California voted for legalized medical marijuana use in 1996.