Antioch Council votes 3-2 to allow recreational marijuana businesses in city

The two areas of Antioch where recreational marijuana related business will be allowed.

Two sections of town will be allowed to have any type of cannabis businesses including retail dispensaries, for now

By Allen Payton

At their meeting on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in spite of the overwhelming opposition from those who spoke against the item, the Antioch City Council voted 3-2 to approve a Cannabis Business Overlay District, allowing recreational marijuana related business in two sections of the city. Councilmembers Tony Tiscareno, who made the motion and Monica Wilson who seconded it, were joined by Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe to approve the ordinance. Mayor Sean Wright and Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock, who was the most vocal opponent, voted against. Cannabis Business District Staff Report 05-22-18

The two areas where marijuana businesses could be allowed are in the Verne Roberts Circle area near Costco and the Wilbur Avenue corridor from A Street to the Antioch bridge. (See map above.) However, as Community Development Director Forrest Ebbs pointed out, “It does not permit, by right cannabis uses. Any cannabis business that wants to open in one of the shaded green areas would require a use permit from the city council and the council can deny.”

In addition, the council can come back later and add more restrictions to the types of marijuana businesses that could be allowed.

For now, all types, including retail are allowed, in spite of the concerns expressed by Police Chief Tammany Brooks, who warned of increases in violent crime due to the presence of “large amounts of cash and large amounts of marijuana.”

“From a law enforcement standpoint, we have a difficult time, especially on the retail side of the cannabis business…it’s always been on the illegal context,” he stated. “We do see the negative consequences of marijuana and other drugs…we see this as a taxing business on our resources. If we bring businesses in that could increase violent crime, and we’re talking about a cash only business…we have pizza delivery drivers who get robbed for a little money…”

Following public comments which were all opposed to the ordinance, as well as council discussion, Ogorchock made a motion to ban all uses, but it died without a second.

Wright said he was willing to allow research and manufacturing, only and wanted a ban on retail. Tiscareno, whose been a supporter of allowing marijuana businesses in Antioch as a revenue source “to pay for more police,” since 2012, said he supported retail for medical marijuana. But his motion for the ordinance without limitations approves the retail sales of recreational marijuana, as well.

Both the city staff and Antioch Planning Commission recommended the council adopt the ordinance.  However, the commission only passed it on a 3-2 vote, because two members were absent during the night of their meeting. Usually, four votes of the seven members are required to approve a recommendation to the council or oppose a matter.

Please check back later for more details and updates to this story.

the attachments to this post:

Cannabis Business District Staff Report 05-22-18
Cannabis Business District Staff Report 05-22-18

Cannabis Business District Map

4 Comments to “Antioch Council votes 3-2 to allow recreational marijuana businesses in city”

  1. JH says:

    I’m not understanding why everyone keeps saying it’s a cash only business. I don’t know the logistics, but I do know that BPG in Berkeley and Harborside in Oakland both accept cards for payment. They charge high fees for using them ($3) to cover the transaction fees associated, basically use Square for transactions.

  2. Julio says:

    I have never been so disappointed in this city council in my life. Thanks to Sean and Lori for being the only sensible people on this council. I will help campaign against all the rest.

  3. Jim p says:

    With all the problems we have in this City to think the leaders think this is the best direction to take the city

  4. Jim p says:

    Dim the city pass a moratorium on smoke shops but now they’re going to have marijuana shops

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