West Covina Backtracks on Commercial Pot

Last month, it looked as though West Covina was poised to welcome pot businesses into the city. But that prospect dimmed on Tuesday with a 3 to 0 vote to reverse course and direct city staff not to develop a code amendment that would have allowed cultivation and lab testing of marijuana.

Tuesday’s decision followed a change of heart on the part of Councilman Lloyd Johnson, a cancer survivor who has admitted to using marijuana for medical purposes. Though he hasn’t changed his mind about the benefits of marijuana, he said it's his job to follow the will of the people he represents.

“We talk about our veterans and we talk about cancer survivors. I am both,” he said. “When I was going through my cancer, yes, I took marijuana pills and yes, it did help me, but that wasn’t manufactured in West Covina.”

Johnson spoke to a number of residents who would be directly affected by any commercial cultivation ordinance because of their close proximity to the potential grow sites.

“It is going to affect them more than it’s going to affect anyone else,” he said. “They’re telling me they don’t want it.”

Without Johnson on board, there would not have been enough votes to develop an ordinance for commercial pot.


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