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Sacramento’s Cannabis Chief Starts New Job

  

Joe Devlin is Sacramento's first pot boss. He was hired to lead the three-person Cannabis Office of Policy and Enforcement that is tasked with overseeing the recreational marijuana industry.

"We're going to be doing permitting, working with the police department and our code enforcement around enforcement of illegal grows and illegal manufacturing primarily taking place in residential neighborhoods while permitting and issuing licenses for what is now and will be the legal production of cannabis," says Devlin.  

He also says one of his first goals is to reduce the number of illegal grows in residential neighborhoods. He says there could be more than 1,000.

"These are --without a doubt-- commercial grows. They are unsafe," says Devlin. "They are being done with unpermitted work and they can have a negative impact on the neighborhoods that they are in."

The position is so new, Devlin didn't have a desk...or an office after his first week on the job. Instead, he worked out of the office of his former boss, Councilman Jay Schenirer.

His new office is on the second floor of City Hall and is centrally located.

"Almost every department in the city of Sacramento -- from police, from code, even animal control, planning, building -- when you think about the spectrum of issues that cannabis can touch, it really is a multitude of departments that this will impact."

Devlin says the new department has a public health responsibility. 

"Working with the state bureau to ensure that the products being sold in terms of edibles and other cannabis products that have been extracted are safe for consumption and that we have guidelines for use of pesticides and making sure those products are safe."

The City has said it plans to create 32 new positions to handle the new cannabis bureaucracy. 

More than 200 people with interest in growing or selling weed have contacted the City for information.

Devlin credits the City and City Council with preparing for recreational legalization in a “thoughtful manner.”

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