The Tracy City Council gave final approval Tuesday to a pair of laws that will clear the way for cannabis businesses to open in town.
One new ordinance regulates the operation of businesses, including the fees and application process required for different types of businesses and the individuals who own and work in them.
The city will allow no more than four retail storefronts for dispensaries. The council set no limits on the number of businesses that can specialize in the indoor growing, manufacturing, delivery and testing of cannabis products. No outdoor cultivation will be allowed.
The other new ordinance defines the land-use laws that will regulate where such businesses can be. Commercial, neighborhood shopping and industrial areas will be open to cannabis businesses, as long as they are not within 600 feet of a school, day care center or youth center.
Those seeking to open a cannabis business must first get a city permit to operate the business. They must then apply for a conditional use permit, which would be reviewed by the city’s planning commission and subject to public comment, before opening.
The ordinances were on the council’s consent calendar, a part of the agenda where items are voted on without discussion, though one representative of a retail dispensary business that could open a shop in Tracy asked that the matter be opened up for public comment.
Zach Drivon, general counsel for Medallion Wellness of Modesto, said the 3-year-old company was the first to open a dispensary in Stanislaus County. It has two locations now, including an Atwater shop, and plans to open three more in 2020 in Modesto, Merced and Waterford.
Drivon told the council that Medallion Wellness would be willing to give tours to local government officials and said that the process of eliminating the stigma of cannabis use includes an open discourse with city officials.
“This continued collaboration between operators and regulators is critical to the success of the industry, and the resulting benefits for the communities in which commercial cannabis businesses operate,” Drivon said.
He added that the company’s stores have been well received by neighbors, in part because they operate with a level of security that covers their own shops and neighboring businesses as well.