Lindsay passes first reading permitting entertainment venues to sell, consume cannabis onsite
By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN
LINDSAY – Lindsay continues on the path to light up the town with cannabis dispensaries and cultivation facilities. And as of their latest meeting, they are on the way to onsite cannabis consumption.
At their April 23 meeting the Lindsay City Council held their first reading of some slight, but still major changes to their cannabis policy. On a 4-1 vote on the first reading of both Ordinance 572 and 573, the City allowed for the existence of cannabis related business in permitted zones with a conditional use permit, and established permitting procedures and regulations.
Major changes in Ordinance 572 that added to chapter 18 of the Lindsay Municipal Code included a clause that allows entertainment venues to permit the sale of cannabis for on-site consumption. The clause sets comedy clubs as an example of a facility where cannabis could be sold and consumed.
Mayor Pam Kimball, who has consistently voted against marijuana measures in the past, said that she did not have a problem with the dispensary, just the entertainment aspect of the change.
“I don’t know. I still feel like its stepping out in front with this and it sends the wrong message that I don’t want to send about our community and that we are really promoting the recreational use of marijuana which we know is not healthy,” Kimball said.
She added that the social consumption of cannabis seems superfluous since residents can buy it, have it delivered to their homes or grow up to six plans on their own.
Councilman Brian Watson said that he wanted to make sure the city council continued to have regulatory authority over the matter.
“We don’t want to see this turn into a dance club in the entertainment part of this…I just want to make sure the city council has some control over what is defined as entertainment,” Watson said.
Councilmember Laura Cortes said that it is not too different from having a bar in town.
During the public hearing Lindsay Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Virginia Loya suggested the council be keen to public wants.
“I hope you consider some local people also who are interested in putting [a dispensary] in because I think it’s always important to let local people be involved in the cannabis they want to open,” Loya said.
City manager Bill Zigler said the city council has some discretion over the dispensaries because it is a conditional use permit (CUP).
“The key here is that it is a CUP and the city council has reasonable discretionary control over something like this,” Zigler said.
The item was motioned by Councilwoman Yolanda Flores and seconded by Sanchez before the 4-1 vote. Kimball was the lone dissenting vote.
The first reading of Ordinance 573 that permits procedures and regulations, established permitted uses and zoning. Adding two sections noting that cannabis dispensary operations are allowed in the central business district of the central commercial zone in accordance with Title 18 of the Lindsay Municipal Code. The second section notes that cannabis business that include an entertainment venue permitting the sale of cannabis for on-site consumption of cannabis, are allowed to conduct operations within the same district.
The ordinance adds under cannabis production permitted uses and zoning will be allowed to distribute their product in the Heavy Industrial zoning district of the City. The addition of distribution rounds out the majority of, if not all of the uses cannabis businesses engage in, in industrial districts. In its entirety the list accounts for cultivation, manufacturing, testing, transportation and now distribution.