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Hollister City Council approves recreational cannabis ordinance

Allows sales starting July 3 to individuals over 21, home deliveries and other minor changes within city limits.

The Hollister City Council unanimously approved a resolution on June 17 to repeal the city’s current cannabis ordinance and adopt a new one governing recreational cannabis businesses. The ordinance will go into effect on July 3.

The primary changes were the elimination of the word “medical” throughout the ordinance, to permit retail sales to individuals over 21, home deliveries and other minor changes.

Changes also reduced permitted space for nurseries from 40% to 25%, as requested by Mayor Igancio Velazquez at the council’s June 3 meeting.

The change in wording allows the two permitted dispensaries, Higher Level of Care and Monterey Bay Alternative Medicine, to sell and deliver recreational cannabis, as well as any other permit holder who wants to apply for a non-storefront retail sales license. Dispensaries outside the area would also have to obtain a license to deliver within the city, even though they can already do so under state law. The two dispensaries in town are currently non-operational.

The unanimous vote (Councilwoman Honor Spencer was absent) was anticlimactic compared to the Jan. 22 meeting at which Velazquez accused City Cannabis Affairs Manager Maria Mendez of colluding with cannabis businesses when she brought the proposed change of deleting “medical” from the ordinance. The mayor complained of not being apprised of the meeting topic and suggested it should be brought before the public again at a later date. It was tabled for 90 days.

The approval comes nearly three years after California voters approved Proposition 64, which legalized cannabis use, cultivation and sales statewide. The Hollister City Council initially adopted a medical cannabis ordinance in Dec. 2016, but did not permit recreational sales until this month.

Other related BenitoLink articles:

Hollister recreational cannabis ordinance gets first reading

Hollister council moves toward recreational cannabis

Higher Level of Care wins permit for cannabis dispensary

Hollister City Council tables changes to cannabis ordinance

Hollister City Council Approves Medical Cannabis Dispensary

Hollister City Council approves amendment to ordinance to allow adult-use in cannabis supply chain, excluding dispensaries




John Chadwell

John Chadwell is a BenitoLink reporter and an author. He has many years experience as a freelance photojournalist, copywriter, ghostwriter, scriptwriter and novelist. He is a former U.S. Navy Combat Photojournalist and is an award-winning writer who has worked for magazine, newspapers, radio and television. He has a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Chapman University and underwent graduate studies at USC Cinema School. John has worked as a script doctor and his own script, God's Club, was released as a motion picture in 2016. He has also written eight novels, ranging from science fiction to true crime that are sold on Amazon. To contact John Chadwell, send an email to: johnchadwell@benitolink.com.