Hollister Councilman Karson Klauer announced on Facebook July 15 that the second reading of the city’s medical marijuana ordinance is approaching, and that the ad hoc committee, comprised of himself and Councilman Raymond Friend, is wrapping up its work on the document. Klauer invited residents who may have questions concerning the ordinance that will permit medical marijuana sales within city limits to join him at Mars Hill Coffee House, at the corner of Sixth and San Benito streets, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. July 18 to talk with him about it.
“Back in February, Council Member Friend and I were assigned to the medical marijuana ad hoc committee,” he told BenitoLink by email. “Over the past five months, we have reviewed state legislature and ordinances from nearby cities and tried to craft an ordinance that we believe will be a good fit for the city of Hollister. Throughout the process, we have met with community members, local business people, nonprofits, and people from the medical marijuana industry. We have also fielded phone calls and responded to e-mails.”
Klauer wrote that at each meeting, they encountered an expanding number of points of view that provided the committee with additional insight, which led to numerous revisions to the draft ordinance and eventually to one that was voted on during its first reading in June.
In general, he wrote, the response to the draft ordinance has been positive. Feedback has been solid both from local parties and those looking to bring businesses to the community. He indicated that there have been a couple points of contention in the last week or so. The ad hoc committee will attend several meetings in the next few days, including the Monday evening meeting at Mars Hill.
“We are hoping to receive additional feedback from the community,” Klauer wrote. “With the help of staff and the city attorney, we are optimistic that we can work on a few last details before we entertain the second reading on the 1st of August.
“I greatly appreciate the community's involvement as drafting this ordinance has not been a simple task. I am looking forward to more input in the coming week as we move the ordinance in a mutually beneficial direction for the citizens, the City of Hollister, and the business community. The ordinance will likely need additional revisions going forward as new information is made available and we adjust to the realities of the future.”
Klauer said it is his hope that the ad hoc committee and city council are able to foster a safe industry that creates well-paying local jobs for residents, while being a consistent and reliable revenue source for the city.
Anyone who is not able to attend the meeting at Mars Hill, but still may have questions or concerns, is asked to e-mail him at [email protected]. If you plan on making it to the meeting, RSVP to the same e-mail address.
For additional information on the progress of the city's medical marijuana ordinance, see the following BenitoLink stories: