Valley News -

Marijuana is a countywide issue, not just an Anza issue


Last updated 11/16/2018 at 5:07am

The unincorporated area of Riverside County encompasses 6,700 square miles with a population living in the unincorporated area of 365,000 people. Yet, there seems to be a consensus among the marijuana growers in Anza that only the folks in the Anza and Aguanga areas and the Sage area have been responsible for the recent Ordinance 348.4898 that does not allow commercial marijuana cultivation in R-R and R-A zoning. The area of Anza, Aguanga and Sage represents but 250 square miles of unincorporated area in the county, a mere 3.7 percent.

What is not understood is the pressure from other areas in the county regarding cultivation that have far more political influence than we here in Anza do. The areas in DeLuz, La Cresta, Mead Valley, Gavilan Hills, Lake Mathews, the Indio area and Cherry Valley have all weighed in on this issue. They also do not want commercial marijuana activities next to their homes and families residing on R-R and R-A zoning. The Sage Town Hall Association and Take Back Anza have been vocal, but they carry nowhere near the political clout of these other areas.

If the growers in the Anza Valley truly want to emerge from the shadows of the black market as they say they do and develop this area as a prime California cannabis supplier, they should rent, lease, buy or joint venture with a property owner who has an area with legal zoning and build a profitable business. If they don’t, their only outlet for their product will be on the black market and as more enforcement comes in that outlet will disappear. They will not be able to sell to legal dispensaries because their product has not been tracked according to the California Cannabis Track-and-Trace system.

With the amount of knowledge and expertise on marijuana cultivation we have here, I truly hope that the growers here in the valley put their heads together and develop a legal business. If they don’t, they will be spending all their time looking over their shoulders and hoping that law enforcement does not come down on them. That is truly a very sad way to spend your life. It takes a toll on them and their families. If they choose to follow the legal route, I’m sure there will be lots of Anza folks to encourage and support their permit and license applications.

Gary Worobec

Anza, CA


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