The San Anselmo Planning Commission is recommending that the Town Council reject two applications for cannabis dispensaries after public hearings this week.
The commission’s recommendation comes as the Town Council prepares for a discussion this month on the future of San Anselmo’s marijuana laws.
The town’s existing ban on cannabis businesses, adopted in 2017, includes a stipulation that a prospective business operator can apply for an exemption to the ban.
The two applications, one submitted in December and the other in September, are the first the town has received since its cannabis ordinance was passed. The prospective stores would be at 805 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. and 34 Greenfield Ave.
With the two applications pending, the council last month said it would consider clarifying the town’s cannabis regulations and choosing whether to allow a certain number of cannabis retailers.
Mayor Matt Brown and Vice Mayor Ford Greene have said they would like to allow cannabis retail. But Councilman Brian Colbert on Tuesday called for an explicit ban on marijuana businesses.
“The local community has overwhelmingly opposed any cannabis businesses in San Anselmo,” Colbert said.
But Brown said he believes “there is a silent majority out there” that supports cannabis retail in town “that doesn’t have the courage to come to a council meeting and express their views.”
Though 74% of San Anselmo voters backed Proposition 64, the 2016 ballot measure that legalized recreational cannabis, some have said that voters who approved it didn’t necessarily want a dispensary in town. Brown on Tuesday called for a ballot initiative to poll San Anselmo voters about their views on a local retail outlet.
During Monday’s Planning Commission hearings, more than a dozen residents weighed in on the two dispensaries. The majority said they opposed the stores.
“What’s the upside here?” said resident Wayne