Benicia City Council unanimously votes to prohibit cannabis dispensaries downtown

A Marijuana plant awaits judging in the Oregon Cannabis Growers' Fair marijuana plant competition in Salem, Ore., on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016. Nine winners will be on display at the Oregon State Fair between Aug. 26 and Sept. 5, 2016, for the first time ever. The Oregon Cannabis Growers' Fair runs through the weekend in Salem, Oregon. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

BENICIA (KRON) — Benicia is in the middle of a debate about how to regulate marijuana come Jan. 1.

After hearing extensive public comment late into Tuesday night, the Benicia City Council voted against allowing marijuana dispensaries in the downtown area.

But they now have to decide how pot will be regulated in the new year.

That includes sales, deliveries, testing and personal cultivation.

The next meeting is Dec. 19.

Here is the full statement from the city:

Benicia, CA (December 6, 2017) — After extensive public comment and discussion during a public hearing at last night’s City Council meeting, the City Council with a 4-0 vote prohibited cannabis dispensaries in Benicia’s Downtown. Council Member Alan Schwartzman was unable to vote due to a ruling by the California Fair Political Practices Commission that determined that Council Member Schwartzman had a conflict of interest due to the location of his home and business in the Downtown Mixed Use Master Plan Zoning District.
Due to the lateness of the hour, the City Council continued discussion of the remainder of the Cannabis Ordinances to the City Council meeting on December 19th. At that meeting the City Council will discuss and give direction on regulating cannabis uses including sales, deliveries, laboratories and testing, personal and commercial cultivation, and manufacturing in the remainder of the City zoning districts. The December 19th will begin at 7:00 p.m.

“It was a long night, but I am very pleased that we are making progress in developing comprehensive cannabis laws for Benicia. I am also very proud and impressed with the tenor, tone and civility of the public with their comments at last night’s meeting, especially the many high school and middle school students who were so articulate with their remarks”, said Benicia’s City Manager Lorie Tinfow.
An archive of the meeting’s agenda and supporting documents along with a video of the City Council meeting is available here: http://www.ci.benicia.ca.us/agendas.

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