Far from its over-the-top depictions in 1930’s scare reels, marijuana has evolved into a widely accepted and sought after national commodity – with some parts of California given over to its production and once-naysaying cities openly considering adding cannabis storefronts to their business districts.
Up for consideration on tonight’s Walnut Creek city council agenda is a staff report outlining the benefits and drawbacks of having a commercial cannabis – or two – within city limits.
The primary motivator, of course, is the cash-heavy nature of a business forced by federal biases to accept coin of the realm in payment while avoiding traditional banking methods. Although business success has forced many cannabis operations to enhance security measures in order to safeguard their coffers, the amount of money they are known to take in has not been lost on once-stuffy civic agencies looking for a way to broaden their tax base.
Council members directed city staff to canvass neighboring towns and cities with cannabis businesses to see how they have been doing and to provide options for allowing non-medical adult-use operations of various types in the city. Staff was also directed to review existing permit fees for cannabis operations to reflect possible changes to city salary, benefits and operational costs.
To date only one of the two allowable deliver-only medical cannabis retailers, HerbNJoy, has opened for business in the city. A second business did not complete the process to obtain an Operators Permit as required by the Conditional Use Permit.
City leaders have expressed interest in other types of cannabis-related businesses, as well, from manufacturing to extraction – and have directed staff to look into the merits and drawbacks of playing host to those types of operations, as well.
The item comes before the council for review and discussion tonight. Their meeting starts at 6 p.m.