CALEXICO, Calif. - Calexico City Council voted for a second time on Wednesday legalizing the cultivation and production of cannabis.
City mayor Armando Real said, “The cultivation, production, pharmaceutical testing and distribution of cannabis plant, which would have to be sold outside of our city limits.”
It comes with a condition.
“Not allowing dispensaries or for the cannabis to be sold in city limits,” Real said.
The mayor said allowing the cultivation of cannabis is a profitable step.
“It’s in the millions of dollars. There’s a lot of profit in that industry which in turn creates a lot of tax revenue as well. So, our city being millions and millions of dollars in the red,” Real said.
But there’s a catch. It’s illegal under federal law, according to El Centro Sector Border Patrol official David Kim.
“Although the state, and the city or even the county may have legalized recreational use marihuana and also medicinal marihuana, it still remains illegal federally,” Kim said.
Border Patrol officers will act against anyone possessing cannabis, in spite of Calexico’s law.
“They have an obligation to take an enforcement action on that. And arrest and seize the contraband. Federal law trumps or supersedes both state and local law,” Kim said.
And if and when this happens, Calexico will not step in to help, according to Real.
“If those people get arrested – it is what it is. They’re actually doing something that they know is federally illegal. It’s really not up to the city. The city won’t in any case represent these people or help them out,” Real said.