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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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City of Costa Mesa
Measure X Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results


21,470 votes yes (54.6%)

17,845 votes no (45.4%)

100% of precincts reporting (66/66).

Shall the ordinance, to allow medical marijuana manufacturing, processing, wholesale distribution and transporting, and research, development and testing, in manufacturing and industrial zones north of South Coast Dr. and west of Harbor Blvd., subject to conditional use permit and business permits, including requirements for background checks, premises security, business records, that is subject to amendment by City Council, and that levies an annual 6% gross receipts tax (estimated annual revenue $48,000 - $912,000), be adopted?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

A “Yes” is a vote to adopt an ordinance to allow medical marijuana manufacturing, research and development, and related activities, but not dispensaries, in manufacturing and industrial zones north of South Coast Dr. and west of Harbor Blvd., that levies an annual 6% gross receipts tax (estimated annual revenue $48,000 - $912,000); and to reject the ordinances proposed by Measure V and Measure W

NO vote means

A “No” is a vote to not to adopt the ordinance proposed by the City of Costa Mesa Medical Marijuana Measure.


No document was submitted.

Impartial analysis / Proposal

City of Costa Mesa Attorney

Measure X, known as the “The City of Costa Mesa Medical Marijuana Measure”, would amend the Costa Mesa Municipal Code to allow medical marijuana (“MMJ”) distributing, manufacturing, processing, and transporting businesses, and research and development and testing laboratories, to be located in one specific area of the city, provided such businesses obtain a conditional use permit, a MMJ business permit, and a business license. The proposed ordinance would also impose a 6% annual gross receipts tax on any marijuana business, including but not limited to businesses specifically authorized by the Measure.

A MMJ business permit would be required for any person to engage in wholesale distribution, manufacturing, processing, and transporting, or to operate research and development and/or testing laboratories, as specifically defined. Retail sale or distribution of MMJ or marijuana products are prohibited, as are dispensaries and cultivation. Distribution and transport of MMJ must be between licensed and permitted entities. Persons must be in current compliance with all applicable state and local laws and regulations pertaining to the MMJ business. Permits, issued by the City CEO, are non-transferable and valid for two years unless revoked. The permit requires business records, inventory control systems, and provides for inspection thereof by the City; security and loss prevention measures; and liability insurance. Operating requirements include prohibitions against marijuana graphics, alcohol or marijuana sales or consumption, and persons under 21; signage restrictions, background checks for owners and employees; and inspection of the business by the City. The CEO is authorized to establish administrative regulations governing the procedures for implementing these provisions. Prior to operation a city business license must be obtained. A conditional use permit authorizing the location of the business is required, which may only be in the Manufacturing Park (MP) and Planned Development Industrial (PDI) zones in the area that is both north of South Coast Drive and west of Harbor Blvd, excluding any portion of the South Coast Collection, or any lot within 500 feet of Moon Park.

The Measure directly competes with the two initiatives entitled “Allow Operation of Up to Four Licensed Medical Marijuana Businesses Within the City of Costa Mesa” and “Allow Operation of Up to Eight Licensed Medical Marijuana (Cannabis) Businesses Within the City of Costa Mesa”. The Measure specifically rejects the changes to the Municipal Code proposed by these two initiatives. The Measure comprehensively regulates the same subject as, and expressly prohibits the activities that would be allowed by these two initiatives. Because of this conflict, the measure that passes with the highest number of affirmative votes will prevail.

Any future changes or amendments to the ordinance proposed by the Measure, including changes or amendments the Municipal Code provisions affected by it, may occur in the manner set forth by law, and shall not require a vote of the people; excepting that any change related to dispensaries and/or cultivation, the specific area within the City where MMJ businesses may be located, and/or an increase in the tax imposed, would require a vote of the people.

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Ordinance or Measure X. If you desire a copy of the ordinance or measure, please call the elections official’s office at 714-754-5225 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.

Financial effect

No document was submitted.

Tax rate

No document was submitted.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Measure X gives residents and the city council local control over how the inevitable legalization of cannabis impacts Costa Mesa.

The authors of the competing initiative have dropped their initiative and are asking Costa Mesa Residents to vote for the City’s alternative, Measure X.

This fall California’s voters will likely approve the legalization marijuana for recreational use. Proposition 64 establishes broad criteria for businesses and taxation of cannabis.

Costa Mesa’s Measure X will protect Costa Mesa residents from the potential negative effects of legalized marijuana by prohibiting cultivation and retail dispensaries in Costa Mesa.


In creating a specific area for marijuana base businesses, Measure X protects our schools, neighborhoods, and churches.

The area is north of the 405 Freeway and west of Harbor Boulevard in the industrial area of town. Only marijuana based businesses doing research, testing, processing, and transportation, will be allowed in this area. Good paying jobs for researchers and high-tech entrepreneurs will be created.

The area borders Santa Ana where growing cannabis and dispensaries are already legal.


Taxes from Measure X will benefit police, fire, and public services. Potentially millions of dollars will flow into the city’s coffers.

Yes on Measure X – It protects Costa Mesa residents and provides safe, quality-controlled medicine for patients who need it.

s/ James Righeimer Mayor Pro Tem, City of Costa Mesa

s/ Steve Mensinger Mayor, City of Costa Mesa

s/ Robert Taft, Jr. Sponsor, Competing Measure V

s/James Fitzpatrick Board Member, Alliance for Responsible Medicinal Access

s/ Randall Longwith Attorney, Competing Measure V

— Orange County Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

No argument against this measure was submitted.

— Orange County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments FOR

No Rebuttal to Pro Argument could be submitted.

— Orange County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

No Rebuttal to Con Argument could be submitted.

— Orange County Registrar of Voters
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