EL CERRITO — City officials are considering issuing a permit for a cannabis dispensary near the center of town and will hold a public meeting March 9 to hear comments from the community. A decision on the application by the city manager could come as soon as the following Monday. The application, coming as the city deals with a major budget crisis and seeks new income sources, already has some support.
“I look forward to public comment because I support this new business opening in El Cerrito and welcome the tax revenue it will generate for our city coffers,” Mayor Paul Fadelli said.
The application of the Los Angeles-based Shryne Group for a former savings and loan building at 10764-10770 San Pablo Ave. on the corner of Schmidt Lane was selected from three proposals submitted by the Sept. 3 deadline that the city set last year. The building, which has a San Pablo Avenue frontage at the northwest corner of the El Cerrito Place center, now houses branches of national chains Batteries Plus Bulbs, a retail store, and Quest Diagnostics, a clinical lab. Storefronts at the east side of the center include Marshalls, Tap Plastics, Mountain Mike’s Pizza, Donut Time, Wonderful Spa and Tala Coffee and Tea.
The applicants were evaluated on information submitted along with their knowledge and expertise in the cannabis field and practical factors such as location and site plan, then interviewed by a review team of representatives from the Police and Community Development departments and the city manager’s and city attorney’s office.
The Shryne Group’s application for the business, to be called Authentic El Cerrito, “was superior in terms of clarity; specificity; site selection, design and layout; and a comprehensive set of community benefits,” according to the city’s website. Shryne describes itself as a minority-owned