Antioch Council approves one more cannabis business, tables another due to opposition from neighboring business owners

Delta Family Pharms and Culture Cannabis Club location maps. Source: City of Antioch

By Allen Payton

During the Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 meeting, the Antioch City Council approved one more cannabis business, tabled approval of another due to opposition from neighboring businesses over parking, security.

Approve Another Cannabis Business

The council unanimously approved the Delta Family Pharms cannabis cultivation operation. It will be located next to and operated by the Delta Dispensary on W. 10th Street. It will have 24-7 armed security.

“I’m delighted that Councilman Ogorchock has come a long way in embracing cannabis,” Mayor Lamar Thorpe exclaimed

“If you remember, Mr. Mayor, I supported this dispensary when it first came before us,” she responded.

“This is record breaking, I believe,” Thorpe retorted.

Proposed location of the Culture Cannabis Club. Source: City of Antioch

Table Other Cannabis Business on 4-0-1 Vote

The council then voted to table and send back to the Planning Division the Culture Club Cannabis Dispensary on Verne Roberts Circle, on the backside of Costco. The owner, High Horizons Group, asked to sell paraphernalia including vape pens and related products.

One of the owners, who called it the Culture Cannabis Club Dispensary, spoke briefly about the proposed business.

During public comments, Jay Jeremy, who owns The Print Club in one of the retail spaces at the front of the parcel, spoke against the business, because the lack of parking and security.

“I’m deeply concerned. We only heard about this last night, so we’ve had little time to prepare. We were kind of shocked that a dispensary is going in,” he said. “Regarding the parking spots there’s just not enough room. I’m a little bit concerned with the security. I don’t know what kind of security we’re going to have. It just doesn’t seem like the right location. I’m not opposed to a cannabis business. But it’s just not the right location.”

“I’m not light industrial, I’m actually retail,” Jeremy continued. “I have three employees who drive to work. If I’m only allowed three spots, then I won’t have any room for my customers. I believe that a lot of this information that was submitted to the city is definitely outdated.

This definitely needs two exits. There’s only one way in,” he stated. “There’s also 400 storage units in the back. So, that means there are 400 people who have access to the back.”

The next speaker, Joe O’Brien said he owns “an adjacent business, next door. Several things concern me. If there are going to be armed guards…there are thin, cheap rock walls in between. Where does that put me, my customers, or family members who visit me?”

“I also do breathalizers for the State of California for DUI’s,” he shared. “I haven’t been able to get a hold of mandatory actions at DMV if they’re opposed to this. We found out, yesterday in an article. I’ve never met the applicant. He’s never come and introduced himself. If they’re going to be a good neighbor, you’d think they’d introduce themselves. None of us was notified of this.”

“If you’re going to sell alcohol in the State of California you have to post a notice for 60 days before. It makes no sense that if you’re going to sell cannabis they don’t have to do the same,” O’Brien concluded.

Map shows the five retail business spaces and self storage facility office at the front of the parcel. Source: City of Antioch

Councilman Mike Barbanica, to the applicant, “how many people at a time do you expect…to be in your business. You have four neighbors there.

“Our estimate on a daily basis is going to be 75 to 100 total customers that come through the doors,” the applicant said. “Those come in groups. So, it’s not 100 cars.”

“We also have an agreement with the storage spaces who is the owner of the property for units in the back for parking,” he added.

“We’re offering employees a stipend to use ride share,” he continued.

“There’s actually street parking available on Verne Roberts Circle,” he shared.

“We will have 24-7, armed security,” he continued. “The loading and unloading will be in the rear area which is safer.”

Ogorchock was the first council member to speak saying, “I too have concerns about the parking. It’s right next door to Costco. So, that curve is a very busy curve, right there. The parking along Verne Roberts Circle is actually being used by the cars for the employees in the dealerships, further up.”

She asked if there will be two, and not just one, armed security guard. City Planning Manager Alexis Morris confirmed there will be two.

“I have a major concern about where it’s at,” Ogorchock added. “There are other businesses there…so, it is a very busy parking lot.”

“There is still one more stop in the process…the operating agreement. So, the doors won’t open until the operating agreement is solved,” Thorpe said.

“Yesterday, I went out to this location,” Barbanica shared. “We’re in the middle of COVID and there were several spots taken. What happens when all the spaces are filled with businesses?”

“If there are 400 people who have access to the storage facility and we’re loading cannabis in the back, then I have concerns about the security,” he added.

“This can still be vetted in the operating agreement process,” Mayor Pro Tem Monica Wilson said, directing her comments to City Attorney Thomas Smith.

“You can also table the matter and send it back to the Planning Division,” he responded.

“I believe that would be the best course of action,” Wilson said.

“Mr. Julian, there seems to be an interest in you speaking with your neighbors,” Thorpe said.

“I’m for tabling it, indefinitely,” Ogorchock then said. “I don’t see this as a viable spot for this business.”

She was concerned that if the applicant buys the building, then gets to the

Wilson then made a motion to table indefinitely and send the matter back to the Planning Division

“Everything Councilwoman Ogorchock said I share,” Thorpe said.

Ogorchock then seconded the motion.

The motion passed 4-0-1 with Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker abstaining. Asked during a break in the meeting, why she abstained, Torres-Walker did not respond.


the attachments to this post:

Culture Cannabis Club plot map 2

Culture Cannabis Club plot map 1

Delta Family Pharms & Culture Cannabis Club location maps

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