Chico revisits cannabis law – Chico enterprise-record

CHICO – Returning to its cannabis trade ordinance on Tuesday, Chico City Council made the decision to ask City Attorney Vince Ewing to analyze what’s currently in place and come back with new ideas.

The article was presented by Mayor Andrew Coolidge as a way to look beyond dispensaries to manufacturing and production.

There are currently 24 cannabis dispensaries offered during the application process in Chico.

Ewing suggested that the council ask staff to consider all options to potentially extend the order if desired.

Residents have spoken out in favor of a potential extension of the ordinance during the public comment period. David Petersen explained the economics of how the expansion could help generate income for the city.

“The dispensaries will capture revenue from funds spent by local people who buy these retail products in and around town,” said Petersen. “But manufacturing and distribution will capture some of the revenue from sales made to other licensed companies throughout the state of California, so it’s important to remember the flow of merchandise from the retail product.”

Curtis Bartle, who owns a dispensary in Lassen County, said it was important to consider the discussed aspects of the industry as it struggles in distribution and logistics. He added that while in Lassen County, the closest distribution center is in Sacramento.

Bartle said his company spends an average of $ 150,000 on products to sell per month, his county is losing potential revenue by not having its own distribution center.

“By doing a few simple calculations, it’s really easy to conclude that if the intention of the city council is to capture additional revenue, it would be wise to include as many parts of the distribution chain as possible within the boundaries. of town, ”Bartle said. . “If for nothing else, then to supply the businesses that are going to be stationed locally and be able to capture that tax revenue from those businesses.”

When Coolidge first led staff, Councilor Alex Brown asked for more specific direction.

“If it were up to me, I would ask the town attorney and staff to review the non-showcase manufacturing, testing, distribution and retail as written in our order and come back. with thoughts on continuing with this process or if there are other options this board would like to explore.

Coolidge supported the proposed direction, but adviser Sean Morgan did not.

“I’m not keen on Chico becoming the cannabis powerhouse for Northern California, however, there is money to be made there and if we don’t make it, someone else will, ”Morgan said. “I am not interested in opening X number of manufacturers or X number of distributors. I would be open to something, but as we are giving direction it needs to be limited like the retail stores were.

Deputy Mayor Kasey Reynolds asked Ewing for a full analysis of what’s possible and then come back for council to make decisions from there.

Councilor Mike O’Brien said while he supports an analysis of the city ordinance, he wanted to be careful going beyond dispensaries.

“I really think we need to fix this dispensary problem first,” said O’Brien. “It’s a new business. We have to walk before we can run in my opinion. Let’s set up the dispensaries first, and then we can look at other things.

Chico City Council primarily meets at 6 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 421 Main Street. Meetings are free and open to the public.

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