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Cannabis ordinance on the Monday night agenda

Mike Conway

Post Date:11/17/2017

Cannabis ordinance comes before Council Monday  

An ordinance that would allow commercial cannabis businesses in Merced will go before the Merced City Council Monday night.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the second floor of the Merced Civic Center, (City Hall), 678 W. 18th St.

The City had been on track to create an ordinance to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries in the City after approval Aug. 1, 2016. However, in November of that year, California voters passed Proposition 64, the 'Adult Use of Marijuana Act,' which legalized recreational cannabis.

The ordinance before the City Council would allow both medical and recreational cannabis sales, along with delivery services, manufacturing, commercial cultivation, testing labs and distribution businesses.

There is a limit of four dispensaries/retail sales outlets, but no limit on the number of other cannabis businesses. The ordinance does regulate where the businesses can be set up to keep them away from schools, youth centers and homes and within certain zones.

Under Proposition 64, people are allowed to grow up to six plants inside their homes and possess up to an ounce of marijuana that they can consume in private. It is still illegal to drive under the influence.

Also on the agenda is a request to refund the bonds at Bellevue Ranch West to take advantage of lower interest rates. The action could save property owners up to $930,000 over the next 19 years.

The Council will meet in closed session at 5 p.m. to confer with labor negotiators.

City Council meetings are streamed live on the Internet. A link to the live meeting is on the City's web site at https://cityofmerced.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx. Videos of previous meetings can be found at that link, and are tied to each agenda item. Those services are in addition to the live broadcast of the regular meeting on Comcast's Government Channel 96.

The Council agenda is posted online at www.cityofmerced.org and is available outside the chambers prior to the meeting. Request to Speak forms are available at the meeting or can be downloaded from the City's website. Cards must be turned in to the City Clerk in order for a person to be recognized by the Council.


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