The City of San Carlos needs your input!!!
In November of 2016, California voters passed Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Act), by 57%, with 63% support in San Mateo County and 65% support in San Carlos.
As a result of the passage of the Act, the State now allows both personal use and cultivation of marijuana (now referred to as cannabis) by adults over 21. In addition to personal activities, the Act allows the State to begin issuing licenses to cannabis-related businesses commencing in January 2018.
Cities and counties must enact regulations by November 2017 if they wish to regulate cannabis-related business activity in their jurisdictions before the State’s licenses go into effect. The San Carlos City Council is currently gathering information to help decide which types of cannabis-related businesses, if any, should be allowed in San Carlos and, if allowed, where they would go and how they would operate.
City Staff and the Chief of Police have reviewed the Act and are of the belief that, if properly located, secured, and regulated, cannabis-related businesses pose no measurable threat to safety in San Carlos. It is believed that any impacts on the community related to the legalization of cannabis are unlikely to be generated by business-related sales activity, but are more likely to stem from illegal personal use, such as driving under the influence or public intoxication, and would be similar to alcohol-related public health and safety issues. While the State has limited what regulations local agencies can impose on personal use, it has allowed local agencies more authority to regulate businesses.
The Act has a number of restrictions and requirements built into the law that may be regulated by local agencies, which include, but are not limited to, the following:
- No one under 21 may possess cannabis, nor enter a retail establishment or purchase cannabis products.
- Onsite security must be provided by the business at all times.
- Parking issues at the business are to be minimized.
- Hours of operation are limited to what is appropriate for the community.
- All products must be clearly labeled with potency per serving information and not packaged or sold in such a way as to be attractive to minors.
- Medical and non-medical cannabis must be sold separately within a retail establishment.
- Law enforcement is allowed access to the business.
- Good neighbor policies are established.
- Procedures are in place for the suspension, fines and revocation of permits if a business is not complying with State and local requirements.
Legalized cannabis and related business activity is an entirely new area of the law and land use regulation for California communities to consider. The City Council has held two public study sessions on this issue to learn how the law works and to understand what regulatory options are available concerning both personal use and businesses in San Carlos (material from these meetings is attached for additional background information). Unfortunately, there was very little public attendance at either meeting, with only one member of the community providing public comment. The Council is seeking more input from the community on this important issue.
In an effort to gather more input, the City Council asked that a Shape San Carlos topic be created to help solicit feedback from community members on cannabis-related retail sales businesses. This input will help inform Council as it considers allowing a limited number of retail sales businesses to operate here in San Carlos.