November’s general elections are fast approaching. And in the days leading up to November 6, politicians and advocacy groups are ramping up their campaign efforts. Most recently, a cannabis political action committee (PAC) in San Diego County is drumming up support for local pro-cannabis candidates.
San Diego’s Cannabis PAC
At the moment, one of San Diego County’s most publicly visible pro-marijuana advocacy groups is the Association of Cannabis Professionals Political Action Committee. The group is known more simply as ACP PAC.
A PAC is an organization that raises and pools funds, which are then donated to specific candidates or initiatives. Sometimes the funds raised by a PAC are used to support a particular politician or bill. Other times, the funds are used to combat a candidate or a bill.
In any case, PACs have become powerful financial players in US politics. And in San Diego County, the ACP PAC appears to be taking the lead.
According to local news source San Diego City Beat, the ACP is focusing this year on the Board of Supervisors. In particular, the group is backing pro-cannabis candidates Nathan Fletcher, of District 4, and Michelle Gomez, of District 5.
Both candidates have voiced support for the legal cannabis industry in San Diego. According to representatives of the PAC, adding two pro-marijuana supervisors to the Board could help shift things in favor of the marijuana industry.
In particular, the PAC is backing these candidates in the hopes that they will help get rid of a 2017 rule set up by the Board of Supervisors. This rule bars marijuana businesses from operating in unincorporated sections of San Diego County.
People in the cannabis industry say this rule harms businesses and consumers. More specifically, the ban introduces new challenges to businesses with growing and production facilities, as well as dispensaries, outside city borders.
Additionally, many advocates say the rule makes it harder for consumers to access legal weed. This could be especially harmful to medical marijuana patients who could be forced to travel long distances to get their medicine in the city.
Raising Funds for Pro-Weed Candidates
Now that the PAC has clearly identified who it’s backing and why, the group is now focused on raising money. Most immediately, the ACP PAC will host a fundraiser tonight in San Diego.
Supervisor candidates Fletcher and Gomez are scheduled to speak. Additionally, other pro-cannabis advocates will also give speeches.
People can get into the event by making a donation to the PAC. At this point, a donation in the range of $50 to $1,500 can get you into the event.
So far, the pro-marijuana industry PAC has reportedly raised somewhere around $17,000. The group will use these funds to support the campaigns of both Fletcher and Gomez. Similarly, it could use the funds to support any other marijuana-related bills or initiatives it decides to focus on.
Cannabis-related legislation has been a key issue this year in California. In large part, that’s because this is the first year of legal recreational retail. As a result, many local jurisdictions have been tweaking marijuana-related laws and regulations, including San Diego County.