California could take another step towards confirming itself as a rival to Amsterdam, when Oakland city council votes on setting up and licensing four major marijuana factories.
Marijuana would be mass-produced, packaged and distributed for sale from the four centres. As well as marijuana for medical purposes, the factories would produce items such as cannabis body oil and baked goods.
The cash-strapped council is keen to approve the plan in order to generate cash through permit fees and taxes. The plan was agreed in principle at a council meeting last week.
One of the council members backing the plan, Rebecca Kaplan, told National Public Radio: “Creating a regular, responsible, regulated permitting system to enable the creation and regulation of these industrial facilities is an important step in terms of public safety, providing jobs and revenue.”
If Oakland goes ahead, it will be the first place in the USA to license such premises.
California currently allows the use of marijuana for medical purposes but in November is to ballot on a proposal that would make it legal for recreational use too.