Cannabis company erects billboards to sway Carson voters

By 2UrbanGirls

Contributing Writer

CARSON — Local residents will vote for a new mayor and City Council members Nov. 3. With a new voting system, district only, competition has grown against the incumbent Cedric Hicks.

One opponent, who is a familiar face, has the backing of the cannabis industry who Hicks voted against in November 2017.

Brandi Murdock excitedly posted a photo of a billboard emblazoned with the words “Vote for a Strong Woman in Leadership Brandi Williams-Murdock for Carson City Council.” The billboard is paid for by South Cord Management LLC, a business management firm based in Irvine, which notes on the billboard that it is “not authorized by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.”

State records show the company is owned by Elliot Lewis, who is also the owner of EEL Holdings LLC and Cannabis Connected, who filed one of multiple lawsuits against the city of San Bernardino, early last year due to many companies inability to obtain cannabis licenses there.

Ordinance 17-1637 was approved on a 3-1 vote by the Carson City Council in November 2017, setting city policies for the sale of recreational marijuana within the city. Hicks cast the lone no vote and Councilwoman Lula Davis-Holmes not voting because she left the meeting early. South Cord Management has paid for a billboard for her as well for her campaign to be the city’s next mayor.

“I work hard for the residents,” Davis-Holmes said. “I am not bought and paid for by the businesses like some of the others. I vote what is best for the residents and not the outsiders.”

Davis-Holmes provided no explanation why she didn’t vote no on the ordinance.

Carson residents suspect the company behind the billboards is seeking support to expand the ordinance to include cannabis manufacturing, which is currently not allowed in the city.

Carson approved licensing door-to-door delivery operations and added restrictions on personal-use cultivation allowed by the state beginning Jan. 1, requiring random home inspections.

Council members stopped short of approving marijuana dispensaries, but agreed to allow four locations in the city for indoor commercial operations including growing and manufacturing of oils, waxes and edibles.

The cannabis industry recently came under fire due to a federal probe into Ghost Management LLC, which operates a website called Weedmaps. The probe covers tax filings, email communications and the transfer of anything of value to any local, state or federal official and/or candidate for local, state or federal office.