Cannabis equity, flavored tobacco bans and honoring Long Beach legacies: Everything you missed at Long Beach City Council

photography of a man using vape
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Council to promote equity in the cannabis industry, support resolution to establish cannabis license deferral and waiver tax credit

The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) allowed for commercial, medicinal and adult-use of cannabis activities but required vendors to operate after undergoing a series of steps. These include a costly initial application, licensing, and renewal process to operate

The state licensing authority was required to establish a program on or prior to January 1, 2021 to aid needs-based applicants who could not afford the fees attached to establishing their business. This program was also conditional on appropriation in the annual budget act.

The council voted in support of Senate Bill 603 which would remove the date limit and funding conditions, providing more equitable opportunities for cannabis business owners—targeting businesses owned by communities of color.

Long Beach bans sale of flavored tobacco, will provide vendors 90 days to adjust

After discussions in past council meetings, an ordinance was passed yesterday to ban all flavored tobacco products that mask the taste of tobacco and entice underaged users.

“The bottom line is that flavored tobacco products attract youth, nicotine addicts them, and when you put flavored tobacco together with nicotine, you know you’re setting our youth up for a lifetime of addiction and health problems,” Vice President of Advocacy for the American Heart Association Eric Batch said during public comment. 

He continued, “Tobacco use contributes to more deaths and disease than any other product and menthol is the deadliest of all tobacco products. So, during a time when we’re all being asked to do what we can to protect the health of our communities from COVID, you know, we can also keep our communities safe and healthy by restricting the sale of all flavored tobacco products.”

Vendors who sell flavored tobacco products, including vapes and flavored tobacco papers, will have 90 days from this decision to make adjustments to their business.

Related Article: To vape or not to vape? Long Beach City Council moves forward with ban on flavored tobacco products

Council set to conduct a series of titular changes to public establishments to honor the legacies of Long Beach residents

Council approved the recommendation to rename the Houghton Community Center complex “Doris Topsy-Elvord Community Center” in honor of Doris Topsy-Elvord, the first African American woman to serve as harbor commissioner and as vice mayor. She was also the founder of the African American Heritage Society of Long Beach.

Bixby Dog Park will be renamed as the “Dr. Myrna ‘Mickey’ Donahoe Dog Park” and the Long Beach Performing Arts Center as the “Beverly O’Neill Performing Arts Center.”

Dr. Myrna “Mickey” Donahoe advocated for the creation of the Long Beach dog park and contributed to its development such as establishing new safer benches, a kiosk for announcements, and for the regular deposit of wood chips for an upkeep look of the park. Donahoe advocated for senior volunteer programs, participated with Friends of Bixby Dog Park and volunteered for various community groups.

Beverly O’Neill, who will be turning 91 this year, is the first and only mayor of Long Beach to serve three terms. She is a beloved resident of the Long Beach community and has received notable awards for her service such as Citizen of the Year from the Exchange Club, Woman of Excellence Award from the YWCA and other similar titles.

The next Long Beach City Council meeting will take place Tuesday, April 13 at 5 p.m. via teleconference.

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