On September 2, 2020, a public hearing was held to review a draft Ordinance to amend PGMC Chapter 11.100 to create a licensing process to regulate cannabis businesses, Council approved first reading of the draft ordinance by a vote of 4-3 (Peake, McAdams and Amelio, opposed). A summary of the ordinance has been published.
The September 2, 2020 Agenda Report provides background related to the measure, referring to Proposition 64 of 2016 whereby California voters legalized adult recreational use of cannabis
Existing Pacific Grove Municipal Code (PGMC or Code) Chapter 11.100 regulates cannabis sales and cultivation. The draft ordinance modifies the existing Code to allow a single Cannabis Retail License to be issued at one site provided a Use Permit is obtained in accord with PGMC 23.31.030. All applications for the single License location shall be evaluated by a five-member panel, two selected by the City Council and three selected by the City Manager.
Council direction and general discussion during first reading of the draft ordinance resulted in several modifications to the proposed measure presented for adoption. Changes include:
• A maximum of one single Cannabis Retail License may be allowed in the City, provided a Use Permit is obtained for the proposed site.
• Background information for the operator and all employees has been expanded from Monterey County to the State of California.
• Definitions for select terms in the ordinance have been added or refined, including:
o Community Benefits Agreement,
o Family Day Care, and
o Gross Receipts.
• Defined terms used in the ordinance are consistently capitalized.
• The Licensee is subject to fees that shall be paid in accord with the Community Benefits Agreement.
• The word “excise” has been deleted; the Community Benefits Agreement clarifies that charges on the license are imposed by contract to allow the City to recover costs of licensing and also for granting exclusive rights under the license.
• The License location shall not be located with the following areas:
o 600-foot radius of a school (K through 12th Grade)
o 200-foot radius of the P.G. Youth Center and the P.G. Community Center
o 100-foot radius of Family Day Care.
o Within any area identified by the Chief of Police
• Provisions have been clarified for any appeal of the license selection, or relating to license suspension or revocation.
• The process for judicial review has been clarified by reference to Gov. Code section 53069.4
All referenced modifications are consistent with the general scope and original purpose of the draft ordinance approved at first reading. As such, this measure may be adopted on second reading as authorized by Article 15 of the Pacific Grove Municipal Charter.
The Ordinance creates a regulatory licensing process and does not constitute a “Project” as defined by CEQA Approval of the Use Permit required by the license shall constitute a CEQA project and require CEQA review.
This Ordinance is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Public Resources Code Section 21000 et seq., because it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the enactment of this Ordinance would have a significant effect on the environment (Pub. Resources Code § 21065; CEQA Guidelines §§ 15378(b)(4), 15061(b)(3)).