Category Archives: Cannabis

Petition to allow retail cannabis in Benicia is underway –

From, June 6, 2019
(Click above or at end of article to sign the petition…)

Support Safe, Local Access to Cannabis!

We are a group of Benicia citizens upset about the way in which the City of Benicia has handled the cannabis issue.

63% of us voted for Prop. 64 which legalized adult use, and 76% of us voted for Measure E which allowed for the collection of extra taxes from cannabis businesses.

The Benicia City Council , proceeded slowly and carefully, holding more than 18 meetings regarding marijuana dispensaries in Benicia.

In 2017, the Benicia City Council approved a program allowing for two dispensaries in Benicia.

The City of Benicia solicited Requests for Proposals to apply for two retail licenses.

After 8 companies made $20,000, non-refundable deposits to the City of Benicia for processing their applications the Benicia City Council decided, to ban retail cannabis dispensaries and pull the rug out from under these businesses who were still waiting, months later, for an answer on their applications.

Enough is enough!

We are gathering signatures on a petition to submit to the Benicia City Council for their June 18 meeting, and for that we need your help. The petition calls for both the approval of two dispensaries as originally planned, but also calls for any of the Measure E tax revenue going to the City from these businesses to be spent only on repairing our streets.

Pot for Potholes!

Although we have been offered help by the applicants in circulation of these petitions, we have declined their offer.

Only Benicia citizens are involved in this effort.

Please consider signing the petition and otherwise assisting in this grass roots effort.

Copyright © 2019 Benicia Cannabis, Benicia, CA
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    Public Hearing – Benicia Planning Commission will meet on June 5 – cannabis ban amendments

    From a City of Benicia email.  Full posting on the City website.

    Notice of Public Hearing – Special Meeting of the Benicia Planning Commission

    Date: Wednesday, June 5, 2019
    Special Time: 7: 30 P.M.
    Benicia City Hall, Council Chambers
    250 East “L” Street
    Benicia, CA 94510

    Amendments to Benicia Municipal Code to prohibit cannabis retail business within the City of Benicia, after a determination that the project is exempt from CEQA.

    The Planning Commission’s action will be in the form of a recommendation to the City Council.

    You may view the Public Hearing Notice HERE.

      Steve Young: Benicia City Council to consider re-writing cannabis rules on May 7

      [Editor: Attend City Council on May 7 if at all possible.  This is an issue of fairness and could affect Benicia’s economic viability and reputation.  If you can’t attend, check out How to write to Council and staff.  – R.S.]

      By Steve Young, Benicia City Council member
      Steve Young, Benicia City Council

      On May 7, the City Council will consider a proposal by Councilman Largaespada to expand the buffer zones around cannabis dispensaries. The proposed changes would, if adopted, add buffer zones around any day care center (or places where kids congregate), park, or any residential zone.  If adopted by the Council, the practical effect would be to eliminate virtually all retail locations in the City.

      Cannabis issues have been on the ballot twice recently. In 2016, Benicians voted 63% in favor of Prop. 64 which legalized personal use of cannabis by adults. In 2018, Benicians voted 68% in favor of letting the Council impose excise taxes on cannabis businesses (which we did last December). The current rules, adopted by the previous Council after more than 18 hearings and dozens of hours of testimony, limited cannabis dispensaries to just a few commercial areas in the City. The Council eliminated First Street and all of downtown, as well as all of the Southhampton shopping center. We also limited the number of dispensaries to just two.

      When we finally opened up the application process last fall, we had 9 applicants for these two possible permits. Applicants were required to pay the City $20,000 each for processing their application, including for a Public Safety License to be issued by the Police Department after significant vetting of the applicants. In addition, the applicants were required to show some form of site control. This required them to rent or lease, or obtain an option to lease,  commercial space at significant costs while waiting for the City to finally recommend which applicants were recommended to move forward to the Planning Commission to apply for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). (Some applicants have reported absorbing over $100,000 in costs each.)

      In my opinion, regardless of how you feel about cannabis, it is fundamentally unfair to treat these businesses in this manner.  They have followed all the rules set forth by the City in August,  paid substantial fees to the City and even more to rent vacant space, and have waited over 9 months for the City to act on their applications.  It is simply not fair or equitable, at this late date,  to have the City change the rules in the middle of the game.

      If you are interested in this topic, please attend the Council meeting on May 7 or let the Council know about your opinions.