REDWOOD CITY — Cannabis connoisseurs who have long fretted over the veritable dispensary desert on the Peninsula could soon find an oasis in Redwood City.
Redwood City residents are being asked to weigh in on allowing up to six cannabis retailers to open up in certain parts of the city during a Plan Commission meeting on Tuesday, two weeks after the city council expressed support for expanding access to the popular drug during a council study session.
Ever since cannabis was legalized for recreational use back in 2016, no Peninsula city has gone the way of San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland in allowing storefronts to open up. There are several delivery services across the Peninsula, but Redwood City is the first to seriously consider cannabis clubs to open.
The council is considering a plan that would classify retail cannabis similarly to general retail which would allow cannabis retailers to be located in all of Redwood City’s commercial zoning districts. That means a cannabis retailer can open up right on El Camino Real or smack-dab in the center of town at California Square.
The council said having up to six stores will “allow for sustainable business operations, avoid clustering and avoid impacts on other retail businesses,” and also asked city staff to process applications “through a merit-based process.”
After conducting several surveys of the community, city staff said in a new report that feedback was very positive and that all attendees at one outreach meeting unanimously supported storefront cannabis in traditional retail locations. Some residents, however, said that retail locations in the industrial zones — like dispensaries in San Jose — “are not conducive for retail shopping” as they are not convenient and “may be poorly lit and may feel unsafe in the evening hours.”
Another online survey from February