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  • Dr. Joan Irvine

THE FRUSTRATION OF A CANNABIS ADVOCATE - Education is THE Answer!



March 20, 2024


It is no longer 'if' - only 'when' there will be legal dispensaries in Redondo Beach. So it's time for education about the benefits of this amazing plant. As we all know, all politics start at a local level; this is where I can help both the residents of Redondo and the industry. As I've done since 2017, I speak about and normalize cannabis at most of the City Council meetings.


For example:


I referred to an upcoming episode of my monthly radio show 'Your Best Life' and my guest Michael Backes who is the Co-Founder of Perfect-Blends and MedCann and wrote the Cannabis Pharmacy - https://www.healthylife.net/RadioShow/archiveJI.htm.


The Foward was written by Dr. Andrew Weil. Anyone who is into health and wellness knows that Dr. Weil practically started Integrated Medicine - https://www.drweil.com/ . BTW - I was not surprised but saddened that City Council members didn't about Dr. Andrew Weil - now they do!


March 9, 2024


Anyone who knows me or has read my blogs or posts on social media knows I support cannabis legalization and know I consider my advocacy – especially in my hometown of Redondo Beach – as a personal mission and a legacy. So much so that I'm known in Redondo as the Cannabis Lady.


I've added to the title: The Frustration of a Cannabis Advocate!


Update 03/05/24


Some good news: City Council reviewed and approved the updated Zoning map and Buffer Zones for cannabis stores (4:07 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QYlwqLqplE). Several cannabis companies are already working on obtaining properties.


Sometime in April, cannabis will be on the agenda again to provide an update on TWA


Update 02/18/24


And the saga continues... as of 2/06/24, Redondo Beach City Council approved a contract with Tierra West to review inconsistent ordinances and how to accept and process applications, etc. So it is my educated guess that there will not be dispensaries in Redondo until Q3 or Q4 2025 or even 2026.


So as seems to be usual in California, only the large companies will have adequate financial resources to lease/buy property to apply and wait out the process.


The majority of the City Council just want to move forward -- this has been an ongoing agenda item since 2017 - what a waste of City resources! But there is one new City Council member who just seems to be against cannabis. I talked with him and thought I had addressed his objections. Then a few days later at the 02/06 City Council meeting, he brought up new objections. Anyone who has been in sales knows this scenario!!


Education is the key. To help, I launched my show 'Your Best Life' with a focus on cannabis education in January - https://www.healthylife.net/RadioShow/archiveJI.htm .


Update 01/23/24


YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS 'STUFF' UP. Cannabis has been legal since 2016, but the Redondo Beach City Council keeps 'kicking the can down the road' (minute 59 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWN1-VbHW5g). It's no wonder why the illicit market is thriving in Redondo - putting youth and seniors in danger.


UPDATE

I was informed that Cannabis will be on the City Council agenda on August 15 (fingers crossed).


Surprise, Surprise - delayed AGAIN now it's September 5 - DUH! How many more times will they do this and risk youth safety and deny Seniors the health benefits??? GUESS WHAT THEY PUNTED AGAIN!!


At the September 12 City Council meeting, I requested that the District 1 City Council Representative recuse himself since he is against cannabis and he also took money for his campaign from a representative of a cannabis company (minute 40 ) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMV8ZUmAINg&t=2396s


October 1, 2023

Cannabis legalization is NOT on the October 3, 2023 City Council agenda.


August 15, 2023 - my public comments at the City Council meeting

I am very concerned that the City keeps ‘kicking the can down the road’ when it comes to cannabis legalization. The last time it was discussed was in May. Then the continued discussion of the application for dispensaries was supposed to be in July, then tonight, and now it's supposedly going to be in September. What is going on?


This has been going on since before the pandemic. Because of these delays by the City, it set Redondo up to have an outside company get a measure on the ballot and try to recall a City Council member. How much did this cost us taxpayers? ½ M dollars or more between staff time and elections.


A year ago it seemed that we would finally have legal dispensaries by the end of this year, then because of the ongoing delays, it looks like it will be the end of 2024. But if the City keeps on kicking the can, it won’t be until 2025 -- This is unacceptable and so disrespectful of the will and voting of the people.


Plus, know that each delay.


· Fosters the growth of the illegal market that doesn’t pay taxes and doesn’t always carry tested products.

· Puts your children's safety at risk. It is the illegal market that sells to children. The legal market follows the rules and regulations. Heck, I learned that it cost close to $5M to go through the process and set up a successful dispensary. No business person is going to risk this investment to sell to children.

· Denies adults easier access to the many benefits of cannabis

· Makes a criminal of everyone who receives a delivery.

· It has made it almost impossible for anyone locally to apply.

· In fact, these delays have cost people much of their investment money by having to wait for the City

· It denies us the tax revenue; just think what a few million dollars annually for the last few years would have meant to our budget and services to our community. I’m certain that our Police and Fire departments could have used this money to better serve the public safety of our citizens

· AND sets up Redondo for more lawsuits.

How many adults are continuing to take opioids or other addictive pain meds because they don’t have access to legally tested cannabis?


How many cancer victims people are suffering even more because of the lack of legal access


Plus we are paying a consulting firm for their help, for what?


We need a transparent PUBLIC project plan with definite steps and TIMEFRAMES so people know what to expect and so we definitely have 2 legal dispensaries in 2024


July 27, 2023 Response to a Memory on Facebook

NO DISPENSARIES IN REDONDO YET!


Guess what, my excitement was premature (see below). It's a year later and Redondo Beach still does not even have a final application and process. We will be lucky if there are dispensaries by EOY '24.

Supposedly cannabis will be on the City Council agenda in August. It was supposed to be in July, so I'm not holding my breath. But we must continue to advocate for the city to implement what the residents voted for == two dispensaries and legal delivery.


It is situations like this that facilitate the growth of the illicit market which poses a health and safety hazard and denies us the benefit of tax revenue that could improve our daily quality of life in Redondo.


BTW it is the ILLICIT MARKET THAT SELLS TO CHILDREN (not the legal market which follows the regulations to keep cannabis away from those under 21.).


So know that each time the City delays cannabis legalization, it puts YOUR CHILDREN IN MORE DANGER of accessing untested illegal cannabis products.


My hope is that when this 'memory' pops up again next year that the City and City Council will have done their jobs and we have what we voted for - two legal dispensaries and legal delivery!


1 Year Ago





Wow, it took a few months more and it will probably be at EOY '23 before we have a dispensary in Redondo. But it is a start!


PERSONAL LEGACY - REDONDO BEACH PASSES A HISTORIC CANNABIS ORDINANCE


So honored to be a part of this historic moment: the five-year process to have Redondo Beach pass an ordinance to legalize cannabis (dispensaries and delivery). Watch this City Council meeting starting at 1:08 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixsRyi_oQ-I.

This is a culmination of a path I began over 50 years ago (and one of the many ‘Herstories’).


It is important for everyone to contribute something positive to our world; to leave a mark – a legacy. Some people do this by raising good children, others by developing great inventions, their work, or service to our country, etc. I knew when I was in my tweens that I was put on earth to make a difference. I did not know how, I just knew! But

I could never have imagined what a ‘long strange trip’ it would be!


I became the ‘token chick’ leader at the University of Kansas in the late 60’s – much to my parents’ sanguine – LOL! Building on this, my lifelong mission became to pave the way for other women in business. In the 70’s I worked for L’Oréal. I was one of the first women who traveled for business and earned Salesperson of the Year. In the 80’s I worked for Automatic Data Processing (ADP), I was one of few women, and once again earned Salesperson of the Year.


In the early 2000’s at the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP), I was asked by Microsoft to develop a technology to keep kids out of adult entertainment sites. I spearheaded the development of an international app that was highly effective and garnered many recognitions. But most importantly it prevented millions of children from viewing age-inappropriate content. I always considered this my most important legacy!


However, as I ‘matured,’ I wanted my life to be more than work accomplishments (https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanirvine/). I wanted to help people have happier lives and finally give back to my community. I participated in the Redondo Beach Chamber Leadership program; Class of ‘08. Founded Keep the Esplanade Beautiful; an environmental charity that has morphed from monthly trash clean-ups and community outreach to now including hosting the Fourth of July Fireworks on Ave I. I unexpectedly created another legacy, but this time for the people in Redondo Beach.


Plus, I get such personal joy that I can make a positive difference in people’s everyday lives. One can’t walk on the Esplanade without taking in its beauty and feeling connected with nature.


But now my greatest accomplishment may be that people in Redondo Beach (and other cities) will have legal access to the many benefits of cannabis in a safe, upscale environment. Children are already protected by current laws and technology. So now my current focus is to help seniors have the best lives EVER, I am doing this by providing Cannabis Education for 55+: BABY BOOMERS STILL ROCK! My next legacy?


(FYI Seniors are one of the fastest-growing segments of cannabis consumers. They love ‘brick and mortar.’ But once they know what products work for them, home delivery of cannabis seems to be their purchasing preference. The pandemic and Amazon solidified this.)


At my age, my next legacy will be to continue supporting others (both Herstory and ‘His-Story’) as they create their own legacies.


I was only part of – be it a consistent and very visible part - of the cannabis legalization in Redondo Beach. I spoke about youth safety and seniors at almost every City Council and attended monthly District 1 meetings where cannabis legalization was on the agenda for the last five years. I was in contact with my State Senators and Assembly members and Federal Senators and House of Representative members and attended lobbying events in Sacramento and DC. I used my social media presence and being a community leader to spread the message and fight against incorrect information, fear tactics, and sadly personal agendas of city officials.


But this was nothing compared to the efforts of second-generation South Bay resident Jonatan Cvetko. Redondo and the cannabis industry owe a BIG THANKS to Jonatan. He has in a quiet, respectful, effective manner spent many years advocating for and educating city officials on cannabis policy and regulation. He thinks about both short- and long-term strategies and their effects on the industry and cities. He is one of the most knowledgeable people in our State. He was on the Redondo Beach Cannabis Steering Committee and others including the LA County Supervisors Cannabis workgroup. Jonatan has been instrumental in the passage of several bills in Sacramento. He is the Executive Director of the largest cannabis trade association in California. So, he brings real-world experience. Without Jonatan, the Redondo cannabis ordinance would have never been written as well – no less obtain 4-0 approval vote from the City Council on July 19, 2022.


JONATAN THANK YOU FOR YOUR LEGACY – I am certain only one of many for you in the future!


BTW I always think of Clark Kent/Superman when I think of Jonatan – “Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands, and who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way."



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