SAND CITY – Results are in and it looks like the general resident population of Sand City is supportive of allowing commercial cannabis activities in the city.
“We’re going to have a retail ordinance over the next few months for the council to consider,” said Aaron Blair, the city manager for Sand City.
Since December, the city council has been considering its options related to cannabis operations in the city, including creating a roadmap to collect contributions from the community. Based on these results, with broad support, the city would push the idea forward.
The community survey participants and the feedback from the resident mailings and workshops were 65% residents, 22% business owners and 13% others. The results showed that the general public and others supported licensing of commercial cannabis businesses in Sand City while business owners were split 50/50. The city’s cannabis survey received 54 majority responses, including participants in the workshops supporting cannabis retailers.
City officials recommended that the council issue instructions on how to permit commercial cannabis activities within the city.
There are areas of cannabis operations that the city council will consider including retail, manufacturing, supply, cultivation, testing, locations, number of permits, and a selection process.
According to the staff’s report, the cost of analyzing, discussing, executing and managing cannabis deals will require the allocation of human resources that can be covered by government fees and taxes. Cannabis companies are expected to bring in additional fees, sales tax, and business tax.
The city’s sales tax advisor said a single non-medical cannabis retail location could potentially generate $ 200,000 in sales tax revenue per year, even without a separate local tax. However, sales depend on factors such as the retailer’s location and market saturation. There is a government excise tax of 15% on buying cannabis from a retail store and an excise tax on growing cannabis. The city can also impose an additional sales and use tax on only non-medicinal cannabis. The city could collect a local sales tax with voters’ approval.
Blair said there will most likely be a limited number of distance operations. The state requires a 600-foot buffer zone around schools and childcare facilities where cannabis retail stores would be banned.
Sand City will only consider retail cannabis for now, and the city council has asked for more information on other cannabis activities.
The city’s advisor has indicated that the Monterey Peninsula market is fairly saturated with cannabis retailers. Del Rey Oaks had the first pharmacy from 2015 with Seaside, Marina and Carmel without legal personality.
Blair said the city was consulting with other cities in the area to see their experience and review their ordinances.
“Most of the time, there weren’t any major issues related to cannabis retail stores,” Blair said.
According to the city council’s guidelines on commercial cannabis operations, the city’s staff are working with the city attorney to develop an ordinance regulating the operations, which is likely to take several months to formulate.