Antioch Council approves city’s first recreational marijuana store on split vote

Example of the interior of a One Plant cannabis dispensary. Photos from the City staff report.

Requires two armed security guards on-site during business hours

By Allen Payton

Following a few comments by only two members of the public and discussion by council members Tuesday night, April 23, and a vote in favor by the Antioch Planning Commission, the City Council voted 4-1 to approve the city’s first recreational marijuana retail store. Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock was the only dissenting vote.

The vote grants the company, One Plant, a Use Permit to locate a “cannabis dispensary with delivery at 2701 West 10th Street”. That’s the current location of the Goodwill Store at the corner of Verne Roberts Circle.

One Plant is the first applicant to go through the approval process since the Council adopted two “overlay districts” for cannabis-related businesses in Antioch, last year. One district is in the Verne Roberts Circle area near Costco and the other is along the Wilbur Avenue corridor in the northwest part of the city.

According to the city staff report, “The retails sales will be conducted in an approximately 2,500 square foot sales area. All customers must enter the lobby, first and present a valid identification to a security guard prior to entering the sales area.”

The business also plans to “sell vape pens, vape pen batteries, and chargers which are used to administer cannabis concentrates. They do not intend to sell rolling papers, pipes, bongs, etc.” The city’s “cannabis guidelines prohibit the sale of…paraphernalia unless explicitly authorized through the use permit.”

Example of a product display inside a One Plant cannabis store.

One Plant also “plans to begin delivery operations…during the same hours as the retail business hours” using one vehicle. They “may increase the number of delivery vehicles based on demand” but can “not have any marking or other indications on the exterior of the vehicle that may indicate the delivery employee is carrying cannabis goods.”

The Antioch Police Department is required “to conduct a site inspection to assess the security of the site prior to a certificate of occupancy being issued.”

In addition, the conditions of approval require “no fewer than two uniformed and armed security guards” on-site during business hours.

One Plant is required to have an online submission forum on their website or by using a comment drop box located at the dispensary, in which residents

They will also be hosting an ongoing series of public information meetings with residents about issues surrounding cannabis.

The business is also required to mitigate potential off-site impacts, such as odor “that demonstrates the measures they will take to ensure that cannabis odors will not be detected at or beyond the site.”

The city’s conditions of approval also prohibit the smoking or ingesting of cannabis products on-site.

According to other news reports, One Plant, “is an adult-use cannabis retail operation led by members of the Serruya Family, including Aaron Serruya, the president of (Canada-based) International Franchise Corp., which has over 4,500 franchise locations in over 50 countries” including ice cream shops Pinkberry and Swensen’s.

Antioch resident Dr. Jeffrey Klinger was one of only two members of the public who spoke on the item, sharing concerns about the sales of vaping products, which are being used by young people.

The council then took up the issue, asking questions of Chris Hester, Security Director for One Plant Antioch.

“I think everyone’s going to know my comment. A 600-foot separation from this spot to the (Babe Ruth) fields,” Ogorchock said.

In response to a question from Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts, Hester spoke of supporting local, community organizations.

“The additional space, what do you plan on doing with it?” Councilman Lamar Thorpe asked.

“In the future we might incorporate manufacturing or a distribution center,” Hester said. “On that lot size we could put another building there. In a similar size location in San Diego, we have 350 employees.”

He also spoke of expanding their delivery service and plans to employ 20 to 30 people.

Asked about revenue projections, Hester estimated $4-5 million and up to $10 million, annually.

Thorpe asked about the issue of equity and the war on drugs.

“We can have starter programs for equity participants. We understand, basically that there was a plight on certain communities in the war on drugs, and we like to give those people opportunity in the business we thrive in,” Hester stated.

“Is it going to be safe, is there going to be blight?” asked Councilwoman Monica Wilson.

“My first answer to a lot of this, you wouldn’t know what we were doing if we didn’t have to go through this process,” Hester responded. “We go above and beyond what is required. We’re in it for the long-term. It’s an industrial park area.”

Mayor Sean Wright said, “I appreciate some of the things that are in here, the on-site security at all times…you’ve included all the items that the police department has given to you. No tinting. You’re not going to hide the front door.”

“What are you going to do to that front corner…the entrance to Antioch?” he asked. “You’re not going to write, ‘cannabis sold here.’”

“We’re kind of a destination. We really don’t have to advertise. It’s an online platform,” Hester stated. “We don’t need a bright, yellow sign that says, ‘come purchase your marijuana, here.’”

“In other areas we’ve done murals on walls, so it looks cool,” he continued. “We like to do whatever we can to make sure the building is presentable…set ourselves apart from dispensaries of five to seven years ago.”

“I’ve read online that of the dispensaries out there you are one of the highest class out there,” Wright said.

Ogorchock attempted to insert language in the ordinance to make sure it is 600 feet away from the Babe Ruth baseball fields.

Forrest Ebbs, Community Development Director stated that the location is 2,450 feet away from the baseball fields.

The council then voted 4-1 to approve the use permit for the One Plant cannabis dispensary with Ogorchock still voting no.

the attachments to this post:

One Plant store-1

One Plant store-2

2 Comments to “Antioch Council approves city’s first recreational marijuana store on split vote”

  1. Arne says:

    Now Antioch has really “gone to pot” 🙁

  2. julio says:

    Arne, they are spending the money already. There is no one person on that dais I would vote for under any conditions. Lori tries but not half enough. Soon there will be an over priced park on Second Street too! Very expensive project.

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