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North County city may legalize marijuana crops

Posted at 11:22 PM, Apr 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-13 02:22:15-04

A flower farmer in Encinitas hopes to get into the marijuana business if the Encinitas City Council approves the growing and delivery of marijuana.

Voters legalized marijuana for recreational use in California under Proposition 64.

RELATED: California legalizes use of recreational marijuana

Inside a 20-acre greenhouse in Encinitas, Dramm & Echter grows beautiful gerberas and lilies.

Now the owner, Robert Echter, hopes to dedicate about two-percent of the space to growing cannabis.

“It can be a product and a crop that could be really good for our business and sustain us,” Echter.

He said flowers are not making money like they used too.

“I don’t know how we can survive in these coming years,” Echter said.

He was one of the dozens of people who is urging the Encinitas City Council, and a marijuana regulation subcommittee, to allow people to grow marijuana for commercial sale.

Unlike many surrounding communities, Encinitas still has about 110 acres of farmland.

But not everyone is onboard.

Teacher Lauren Faulstich spoke out against the proposal to legalize marijuana grows in Encinitas.

“So, as a teacher at Sandpoint, when I’m looking at these children every day, they don’t need to grow up with farm fields of marijuana and have it take away from our beautiful flower fields,” Faulstich said.

Echter said they will have extra security at the greenhouse and the neighbors will not even know it is inside.

RELATED: FAST FACTS: Prop. 64, legalizing marijuana

“It’s a very regulated market and the new laws are coming into effect ," Echter said. "We feel to be part of that is really good."

The city council will need to approve the proposal before it takes effect.