Council approves increasing cannabis permits

GONZALES — Gonzales City Council voted in favor of raising the number of marijuana cultivation and manufacturing permits from three to eight on April 2.

The idea of increasing the number of permits arose when Casey Maconachy, president/CEO of Salinas Valley Medicinal Solutions, delivered a presentation on the subject to the council in December. In the following months, the City Council held workshops, including the Planning Commission, on the topic of cannabis and increasing the number of permits.

According to the city ordinance, the permits are for conditional use and can only be located on property in the Agricultural Industrial Business Park.

“A number of jurisdictions throughout Monterey County and entire state are dealing with the same thing because of the changing environment,” said Mark Hartunian, special projects director.

All three of the permits that were authorized in December were given to NetZero Farms LLC.

The City conducted some research into commercial marijuana in surrounding cities and found that in Greenfield the city had put no limits on the amount of permits issued.

The City of King allows for 1,350,000 square feet and limits the permits to cover 22,000 square feet, making 16 regulatory permits in the city.

The City of Gonzales regulatory permits are valid for one year. Businesses would have to reapply for a regulatory permit every year.

Soledad City Council approved the first reading of the ordinance motioned by Mayor Pro-Tem Liz Silva, it was seconded by Robert Bonincontri and supported by all members of the council. The second reading and public hearing of the ordinance was April 16.

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