Ban on non-medical marijuana businesses continue

SOLEDAD — The City of Soledad is continuing its ban on non-medical marijuana businesses after a unanimous vote Oct. 23.

The council has approved the interim urgency ordinance twice before, in January 2017 and November 2017. The current ordinance would be effective Dec. 7 but has been extended with the council approval.

“The non-medical marijuana business is still in its infancy,” said City Attorney Michael Rodriguez. “We’re finding there are some problems associated with it, there are some successes associated with.”

Rodriguez cited the taxes related to the medical marijuana businesses and non-medical marijuana businesses were questioned on whether they were too high and needed to be lowered. The successes included what the City of Greenfield and City of King have seen with growth of businesses; however, those have included more police and the odor that comes along with cultivation businesses.

“There is reason to believe that unregulated black market for marijuana and marijuana products has grown,” Rodriguez said. “As a result of the fact, there is comprehensive and strict set of regulations at the state and local level.”

According to Rodriguez, there have been some inquiries for non-medical and medical marijuana businesses, but city staff still recommended the council continue the ban.

“We haven’t been getting our doors knocked down with applications,” said Community Service Director Brent Slama. “I think part of it is they know it’s not allowed and it’s kind of waning out now.”

The motion to continue the ban was supported by the four council members in attendance, Carla Stewart, Chris Bourke and Alejandro Chavez as well as Mayor Fred Ledesma.


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