The city of Atascadero is preparing to scrap its ban on commercial marijuana activity and allow delivery services and manufacturing facilities to operate in town. [KSBY]
On Tuesday, the Atascadero City Council introduced an ordinance that would maintain the city’s existing bans on brick and mortar dispensaries and commercial cultivation but allow licensed mobile dispensaries to deliver pot to Atascadero homes between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. Advertising on delivery vehicles would be barred.
The ordinance would allow marijuana businesses to open product testing labs in certain non-residential areas. Pot testing labs would be prohibited in locations within 600 feet of schools, parks and youth facilities.
While commercial cultivation would remained prohibited, the city is required under Prop. 64 to allow cultivation of marijuana for personal use. The proposed ordinance calls for limiting pot grows to six plants.
Inside grows would be restricted in size to 130 square feet and would not be permitted inside bedrooms. Outside grows would be limited to 120 square feet.
Likewise, outside grows would have to be invisible from public property and screened with fencing or landscaping. Additionally, pot cultivation could only be done with the consent of a property owner.
City officials plan to use existing code enforcement mechanisms to issue citations to those who violate the marijuana ordinance rules. Violators would face $100, $200 and $500 daily fines for their first, second and third offenses respectively.
Some members of the public who attended Tuesday’s meeting spoke out against allowing pot businesses to operate in Atascadero. The city also faced criticism for “outsourcing” delivery services to businesses that are based out of town.
During the spring, city staff conducted surveys of Atascadero residents on marijuana policy proposals. Nearly 75 percent of participants in the surveys indicated they were comfortable with or in support of allowing outdoor cultivation for personal use, commercial cultivation for wholesale distribution, testing facilities, manufacturing facilities, retail sales and deliveries.
However, opponents of increased marijuana activity indicated they were strongly against pot businesses operating in the city. Residents opposed to commercial marijuana activity voiced concerns about public safety risk, increased access for minors, edible products marketed to youth, smell, crime could increase and that pot businesses could impact the perception of Atascadero.
It is not yet clear when the ordnance will return to the council for what is expected to be final approval.