City council sets new locations and guidelines for cannabis companies

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The city of Pittsburg has been slow to welcome cannabis companies, taking three years to develop where and how new cannabis retailers, manufacturers, and micro-businesses will be allowed.

In a session Monday evening, Pittsburg City Council outlined four industrial zones in the north of the city that could house cannabis retail, cultivation, testing and manufacturing. Cannabis stores are not yet open in the city, while two of the largest pharmacies in the Bay Area have already opened in neighboring Antioch.

Jordan Davis, the city’s director of community and economic development, outlined for the council how the staff went about drafting the new ordinance, which states: No commercial cannabis business may be within 200 meters of an existing place of worship, one legally established school or club or lodge used exclusively as a youth center, publicly accessible city-owned park or library, measured from the main entrance of the cannabis shop to the nearest access point for other uses.

The proposal added that under no circumstances should a cannabis retail store be located less than 300 meters from a legally established school, as measured by the shortest direct line distance, measured from the main entrance of the cannabis store to the nearest parcel boundary that others use.

After some debate on Monday evening, the council changed the proposed staff wording to include “religious gatherings” in the 600-foot buffer space and remove an exemption for micro-businesses. The Council also added that a four-fifths majority of the Council is required to amend the regulation in the future.

Mayor Merl Craft and Councilor Jelani Killings expressed their desire to protect the rights of existing and future churches that may oppose cannabis. Noting that “caution is advised”, Killings expressed concern that “cannabis is the next big tobacco”.

A public speaker, Randy Baugh, urged the council not to lock cannabis dealers in an industrial ghetto. Other council members predicted cannabis sales will soon expand to wholesalers like Walgreens and CVS.

Police Chief Brian Addington attended the meeting to express his support for the regulation, noting that cannabis companies generally employ extensive security personnel and systems and historically generate little additional crime.

In other areas, Addington urged an update to the city’s fireworks ordinance, citing police call data from the 27th fireworks and seized 50 pound fireworks. On July 4, fire and police personnel responded to 40 fire-related service calls, including several grass / brush fires, three building fires and one vehicle fire.

The boss noted that the current ordinance provided a fine of $ 100 for a first offense and “barely left a dent” when it was enforced. The council approved a revised ordinance introducing a US $ 1,000 fine for each crime, adding “responsible parties” as those responsible for quotations.

The new regulation defines it as: “A person who owns, leases, leases or otherwise owns or has direct control over an apartment or other private property or watercraft. A person who organizes, supervises, promotes, performs, permits, controls or controls access to, possession, manufacture, sale, offer for sale, use or firing of fireworks in an apartment or other private property or on a ship.”

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Copyright © 2021 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication, redistribution, or other reuse is prohibited without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc.