By Nick Sestanovich
Ever since the passage of Proposition 64 in November, the city of Benicia has had many discussions at various meetings over how the statewide legalization of cannabis should be treated within the city. On Sept. 19, the Benicia City Council reviewed a draft ordinance making recommendations for cannabis activities. Among these suggestions were allowing up to two dispensaries in commercial areas, restricting dispensaries to at least 600 feet away from schools, evaluating a recommended distance from youth centers and parks, limiting dispensaries’ hours of operation from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., limiting personal cultivation to no more than six mature plants grown indoors, allowing manufacturing facilities and testing labs in the industrial zones, permitting cannabis deliveries for medical users, and requiring cannabis business operators to have a license.
In addition to many discussions at council meetings throughout the year, the issue was at the forefront of the Oct. 13 Planning Commission meeting. The issue even made its way to Benicia Unified School District’s governing board meeting, where the board unanimously adopted a resolution provide concerns and recommendations on the matter to the council for its Nov. 7 meeting, where it is slated to hold a final vote ahead of the state regulations taking effect on Jan. 1, 2018.