Potential Cannabis Regulations

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GENERAL SUMMARY

The Redwood City, City Council approved a phased approach to cannabis regulations and while there was agreement with much of the phases and next steps, as City staff works to develop the regulations of each phase, all phases will return to the City Council for further discussion and approval. A timeline on the phased approach will be developed and presented to the City Council in early 2018. Phase 1 and 2 will continue to allow medicinal cannabis delivery. Phase 3 potentially would allow cannabis delivery from non-storefront retail delivery facilities located within the City. Phase 4 potentially would allow storefront retail facilities located within the City.

The phased approached includes:

Phase 1: On November 13, 2017, the City adopted a Zoning Code amendment which bans commercial cultivation, manufacturing, testing, retail, and distribution, except for deliveries of medicinal and adult use cannabis. The Zoning Code amendment goes into effect on December 13, 2017 and includes allowing cannabis sales via delivery as of January 2018, limiting indoor cultivation to six cannabis plants for personal consumption, banning outdoor cultivation, and banning all commercial activity, except for deliveries. 

Phase 2: Notify delivery operators who may be delivering that they need to obtain a business license and pay the business license tax. Develop a cannabis regulatory fee to offset staff costs involved with licensing, regulating, and enforcing cannabis activity and regulations associated with deliveries. City staff would return to the Council for approval of the proposed fee and regulations.

Phase 3: Implement regulations to allow cannabis delivery from non-storefront retail delivery facilities located in the City.

Phase 4: This phase involves expanding the regulations to allow storefront retail cannabis businesses.  

 

COUNCIL MEETINGS AND DIRECTION

November 13, 2017 Council Meeting Update

At this City Council meeting, the City Council approved an ordinance regarding cannabis cultivation and commercial cannabis activity, based on their discussion at their meeting on October 23. The ordinance goes into effect on December 13, 2017.

November 13 Council Meeting Documents

Staff Report

Adopted Ordinance

 

October 23 City Council Meeting Update

At their October 23 City Council meeting, the City Council discussed a phased approach to cannabis regulations to:

  • Use regulations to enable safe adult access to cannabis as voters requested/survey responses support; work with schools and youth-serving organizations to deter youth access
  • Recover all costs of regulation
  • Adapt as market evolves and public health data becomes available
  • Engage educational and health agencies, business community, residents
  • Enable cannabis business to become part of business community, including applying business license tax and seeking voter approval for a cannabis tax to support City services
  • Determine whether any local regulations are needed on top of adopted State regulations

Following research and analysis and an assessment of best practices, by regulating cannabis sales, the City can provide an incentive for responsible business operators to locate in Redwood City and thereby reduce black market activity.

At the October 23 meeting, the City Council held a public hearing and under consideration was a phased approach to allow cannabis sales via delivery as of January 2018 and retail cannabis storefronts later. Council approved an ordinance limiting indoor cultivation to six cannabis plants for personal consumption, banning outdoor cultivation, and banning all commercial activity, except for deliveries. 

Other Details Regarding the Phased Approach

The City Council discussed the recommended phased approach and while there was agreement with much of the phases and next steps, as City staff works to develop the regulations of each phase, all phases will return to the City Council for further discussion and approval. A timeline on the phased approach will be developed and presented to the City Council in early 2018.

The City Council also directed City staff to complete additional research, including learning about the development agreement approach used in Hollister to capture cannabis sales tax earlier and evaluate allowing cannabis research and development in one of the earlier phases. The City Council also encouraged current delivery businesses to gain a City business license now and not wait until phase 2.

The phased approached includes:

Phase 1:  Adopt proposed Zoning Code amendment to which bans outdoor and commercial cultivation, manufacturing, testing, retail, and distribution, but continue to allow medical cannabis deliveries. Medical and adult use deliveries will be allowed on January 1. 

Phase 2:  Notify delivery operators who may be delivering that they need obtain a business license and pay the business license tax. Develop a cannabis regulatory fee to offset staff costs involved with licensing, regulating, and enforcing cannabis activity and regulations associated with deliveries. We would return to the Council for approval of the proposed fee and regulations. 

Phase 3:  Implement regulations to allow cannabis delivery from warehouses or distribution facilities located in the City.

Phase 4:  This phase involves expanding the regulations to allow storefront retail cannabis businesses.  

October 23 City Council Meeting Documents 

Staff Report

Summary of Cannabis Outreach Results

Map of Potential Cannabis Retail and Distribution Sites (1,000 ft. radius from schools, youth centers, and day care centers)

 

October 3 Planning Commission

Staff Report

Planning Commission approved amendments to the zoning ordinance to prohibit cannabis distribution facilities in all zoning districts for the short-term to ensure enough time for staff to return with subsequent actions to potentially allow cannabis sales in the near future. They also approved an ordinance for City Council consideration limiting indoor cultivation to six cannabis plants for personal consumption, banning outdoor cultivation, and banning all commercial activity, except for deliveries.

 

October 2 City Council Meeting

Smoke Free Multi-Family Housing Ordinance

Also as a result of City Council input, the Council approved the first reading of an ordinance at their October 2 meeting to ban smoking in multi-family residences of two units or more. The ordinance includes a ban on smoking, vaping or otherwise igniting tobacco, cannabis, and/or illegal drugs. 

BACKGROUND

In response to new State law allowing the recreational use of cannabis, the City of Redwood City is currently in the process of evaluating City regulations regarding the cultivation, storage, distribution, delivery, sale, taxation and smoking of recreational and medical cannabis.Presently, Redwood City’s only regulation addressing cannabis-related activity is to prohibit medical cannabis distribution facilities in all zoning districts of the City.  Delivery of medical cannabis is allowed and is not subject to City business license obligations or any City taxes. If the City does not take some action, under State law, beginning January 1, 2018, the sale, cultivation, processing/manufacturing, storage, distribution, and delivery of recreational cannabis would be legal within the City limits. In June, the City Council met to discuss different regulatory options available to the City. The City Council meeting staff report is available here. Go here to view the City Council meeting discussion.

Helpful Links

June 26, 2017 City Council Meeting Staff Report

June 26, 2017 City Council Meeting Presentation

California Bureau of Medical Cannabis

California Cannabis Portal

Cannabis Businesses- Business License Information