City of Benicia releases carefully worded cannabis update

City Manager
250 East L Street, Benicia, California 94510
Contact: Lorie Tinfow, City Manager, (707) 746-4200,

City of Benicia Stays on Path to Allow Retail Cannabis Business

Number of businesses reduced to one that will be selected from existing set of nine proposals.

Benicia, CA (June 20, 2019) — On June 18, 2019, the City Council for the City of Benicia held a public hearing to consider amendments to Title 17 of the Benicia Municipal Code regarding cannabis. The City Council did not approve any amendments to the Benicia Municipal Code regarding cannabis during this hearing. Instead, on a motion of Mayor Elizabeth Patterson, seconded by Councilmember Steve Young, the City Council approved, on a 3-2 vote, to direct City staff to draft and submit to the Planning Commission and City Council an ordinance which amends Chapter 17.84 (Cannabis) of the Benicia Municipal Code as follows:

  1. Reduce the number of permitted cannabis retail businesses in the City from two to one. The existing nine cannabis retail business applicants would be subject to all requirements of the existing cannabis ordinance.
  2. Amend the existing definition of “school” to clarify that education provided is consistent with State curriculum standards.
  3. Prohibit all future applicants for retail cannabis businesses from locating within 600 feet of a child care center, youth center, learning center, residential zone or public park that is in existence at the time the use permit for a cannabis business is issued.

In addition, City staff will draft for City Council review and action, a resolution which establishes the procedures for issuance of cannabis use permits, including the process for selection of the cannabis retail business.

Because there are multiple steps (including hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council) which must be taken before these amendments can become effective, City staff will continue to put any further review and processing of cannabis retail business applications on hold until it has been determined which ordinance amendments, if any, will become final.

All other types of cannabis businesses—cultivation, testing, manufacturing, distribution, delivery and microbusiness—are allowed subject to adopted conditions.

For more information, contact: City Manager Lorie Tinfow at (707) 746-4200 or