Oakland approves industrial marijuana production

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The city council of Oakland, Calif., voted late Tuesday to allow industrial scale production of medical marijuana in a landmark decision which some hope will turn the city into “the Silicon Valley of pot,” The Los Angeles Times reported.

The controversial plan allows four large growers to set up shop in the city that sits just across the bay from San Francisco — but makes no provision for the hundreds of growers who currently supply Oakland medical dispensaries. The council promised it would set up plans for those growers before permits were issued next year for the four big producers.

The 5-2 vote in favor of the proposal followed a heated debate between small-scale pot growers — who argued that it threatened their means of income — and local businessmen who claimed it would flood the city with new jobs and tax revenues.

A tax on wholesale pot sales would bring in more than $3 million to the city, which faces a $31 million deficit.

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