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San Benito
June 22, 2024

San Benito County board opposes rail project, cannabis bill

San Benito County supervisors Tuesday quietly approved two opposition letters on state matters, the much-debated high-speed rail project and a bill that would allow for adult-use cannabis dispensaries in unincorporated areas.

Both considerations were on the consent agenda. The board approved the items with other considerations on the consent agenda, although Supervisor Anthony Botelho abstained on the high-speed rail project because he owns property that would be near the proposed routes.

According to the staff report, Kern County has adopted a resolution in support of abandoning the High-Speed Rail Project. The letter of opposition from San Benito notes that both proposed routes would pass through the county, one near Casa de Fruta and another near Frazier Lake and Bloomfield roads. The letter underscores the plan’s immense financial pitfalls.

It comes after the Trump Administration announced it was pulling nearly $1 billion in funding to the state for the project, after which Gov. Gavin Newsom sued the feds.

The other opposition letter dealt with Assembly Bill 1356 that would allow cannabis retail in the unincorporated region. According to a staff report attached to the item: This bill requires communities where more than half the electorate voted to approve legalizing adult-use cannabis to issue a minimum number of local licenses to authorize retail cannabis commercial activity. The bill allows a jurisdiction to limit eligibility for licenses to only medicinal cannabis.