The Porterville City Council approved the addition of another adult recreational cannabis dispensary on Tuesday night, but this time it’s focused on awarding the business permit to an applicant who is wholly local.
City Attorney Julia Lew reminded the council that at one of its meetings in May of 2019, the council adopted two ordinances allowing for two adult recreational cannabis dispensaries and one medicinal cannabis dispensary within city limits. Lew said recently the Council has expressed interest in granting an additional permit to one wholly local applicant.
Before the Council on Tuesday night were two draft ordinances, one that expands the number of permits the Council can authorize, and the other to clarify the land use aspect of cannabis dispensaries.
The cannabis ad-hoc committee recommended the selection process be narrowed down to two candidates, Bloom Farms and the Tule River Economic Development Corporation, who have already pre qualified as they went through the first round of applicants who were interviewed before the Council. The ad-hoc committee also recommended the council conduct a second interview process for the two chosen candidates.
When the discussion opened to the council, Council member Milt Stowe asked if this process will delay the already approved dispensaries from opening, to which Lew said it will not delay the opening process.
Stowe asked what’s considered local, and Lew said the ad-hoc committee had recommended just keeping the two applicants, because they’re from the greater Porterville area and own property in city limits. Stowe suggested the application process should be opened again, and Flores added she’s concerned with interviewing just the two existing applicants, and the city should open the process to those who would like to try.
Council member Daniel Penaloza stated the cannabis ad-hoc has put a lot of thought into this. He also wondered