Those interested in Marin’s plans for medical cannabis dispensaries turned out this week to give supervisors feedback on a draft licensing ordinance.
Supervisors held a 90-minute workshop Tuesday on the proposed ordinance. Many of the comments received focused on a plan to eliminate a number of the applicants early in the process by means of a lottery and to limit the total number of licenses to four.
“I don’t agree with the restriction to four. I can’t support a government-created monopoly,” said Elise McRoberts, who founded Aim Higher Strategies, a cannabis consulting business.
Alicia Rose, founder of Herba Buena, also voiced her opposition to limiting the number of licenses to four.
“We have a free market, capitalistic system that will figure out the best actors and allow those people to thrive,” Rose said.
Regarding the lottery, Monica Gray, co-owner of Nice Guys Delivery, said, “It will weed out good applicants.”
Tom Lai, assistant director of the county’s Community Development Agency, told supervisors, “We didn’t want to repeat what happened in the earlier phase when there was a frenzy of many applicants causing considerable neighborhood angst by looking at different sites.”
In May 2016, the supervisors adopted an ordinance that would have permitted up to four medical cannabis dispensaries to open in unincorporated Marin. County staff and a volunteer advisory committee oversaw three public meetings earlier this year, during which 10 applicants made their pitches. People who lived close by locations where the dispensaries were proposing to open turned out in large numbers to object.
As a result, county Administrator Matthew Hymel scrapped that plan and proposed issuing delivery-only licenses. Under this new proposed ordinance, the retailers’ premises would be closed to the public, and the businesses would be required to conduct sales exclusively by delivery.
The first step would be