In Redwood city, small marijuana delivery businesses have been delivering for years, but now they are looking to make Redwood city their headquarters.
That became possible, on this past Monday after new regulations were passed.
The regulations apply to marijuana delivery operations without walk-in retail and nurseries that grow and sell immature starter plants in the city’s industrial zones.
“We’re excited about these ordinances so we can actually put down roots here and make sure the city we’re operating out of is getting the correct amount of tax revenue and benefiting as much as us,” said Alec Gillis, co-founder of medical marijuana delivery service Harvest Bloom. As reported by the San Mateo Daily Journal
Many owners of marijuana selling and delivery companies have been eager to plant roots in Redwood city, as many of them have Redwood city as a major area of business. The owners of CEAS collective and Harvest Bloom, which are two marijuana delivery companies, McGillis and Gillis respectively, have been working closely with city staff throughout the process, lending insight into their industry, state laws, and the various obstacles they face.
And while cannabis entrepreneurs are encouraged by recent regulation, problems still arise.
One large problem is the lack of vacant industrial land and the small number of landlords are willing to rent land to cannabis dispensaries.
Another issue that has arisen is the cost to maintain such a business in the Redwood City area, and business specific costs, such as security personnel.
In an effort to limit barriers to cannabis businesses, city staff this month will recommend the Planning Commission also allow these businesses in the Conditional Office (CO) zoning district, which would require final approval by the City Council, according to a staff report.
At the hearing on April 9, the City Council also lowered the required buffer zone between the property lines — not front doors — of cannabis businesses and “sensitive receptor” sites, which includes parks, schools, and children’s centers. Staff had initially recommended a 1,000-foot requirement, but the council voted for the state-mandated 600-foot option.
That particular requirement still has some concerned, including councilmembers Diane Howard and Jeff Gee, who voted against the ordinance in April in part because of the 600-foot setback.
According to the San Mateo Daily Journal, “At Monday’s meeting, several residents speaking on behalf of the nonprofit Casa Circulo Cultural also expressed their support for the 1,000-foot buffer, citing concerns about the children that organization serves.”
Redwood city plans to roll out cannabis regulations in four various phases, and as of now phase three has been rolled out.
Aekash Singh, a sophomore, said, “Business-wise, it is a great idea, just look at states like Colorado and Washington and how their economies have succeeded due to marijuana sales. On the other hand, its effects are not fully documented and we don’t know its in-depth effects on the brain. While it is a great treatment for chronic pain, the FDA has not approved it, which implies that it may not be safe or that they are not done researching it.”