CA: City Council To Hear Pitches From Cannabis Dispensary Applicants

Photo Credit: Lucy Nicholson

The 10 remaining applicants hoping to set up cannabis dispensaries in Davis will make their pitches to the Davis City Council on Tuesday, with the council expected to approve up to four of them when it meets again later this month.

The applications cover locations in downtown Davis, along Olive Drive, on Second Street east of town and on West Chiles Road.

The Davis Planning Commission weighed in on all of the applications last month, with commissioners unanimously recommending three of them and a majority of the commission recommending two others.

Since then, two applicants have withdrawn their proposals from consideration: 5 Point Management at 1046 Olive Dr. and Delta of Venus at 120-122 B St.

That leaves a total of 11 applications still in the mix. (One applicant, The Good People Farms, filed two applications for two separate locations).

The council is expected to make a final decision at its May 29 meeting, but Tuesday’s meeting will give all of the remaining applicants an opportunity to present their proposals and the public a chance to weigh in as well.

This process began with the council’s approval last year of a retail cannabis ordinance, under which up to four retail shops dispensing medical and recreational cannabis on site may be approved for an 18-month period, after which the council may increase the number allowed in town.

Thirteen applications were submitted last fall.

Six proposed sites were in the downtown core, one in Old East Davis on L Street, three on Olive Drive, two along Second Street east of downtown and one on West Chiles Road.

All had to meet the basic requirements of the ordinance, including prohibitions on dispensaries in residential zones and within 600 feet of schools, day cares and parks. And all proposed sites were in areas zoned for commercial, industrial or mixed uses.

The applications were reviewed by a number of city agencies, including the police and fire departments, and city staff ultimately made a recommendation on which applications best fit the more subjective requirements in the ordinance, including their impact on the health, safety and welfare of the community in the area; whether a proposed site and use is compatible with surrounding properties and uses; and whether the use would enhance the economic vitality of the area.

The Planning Commission unanimously recommended three of those applications: California Grown at 1605 Second St.; All Good Wellness at 325 G St. (a property owned by The Davis Enterprise); and F Street Dispensary at 416 F St.

Both All Good Wellness and the F Street Dispensary would be in downtown locations that commissioners believed could benefit other businesses. These dispensaries are expected to see between 150 and 200 customers daily, and all that additional foot traffic could be a boon to downtown’s economic vitality, commissioners said.

Also downtown, and recommended by four of the six planning commissioners last month, was the Good People Farms dispensary proposed for 514 Third St. There, too, a majority of the commission believed the economic impact on neighboring businesses outweighed other concerns related to traffic and parking.

One other proposed dispensary received majority support from planning commissioners — Kind Farma at 946 Olive Dr., which received five votes in favor and one against.

No other applicant received a majority vote in favor from planning commissioners.

Delta of Venus was on the receiving end of a 3-3 vote, but that application has since been withdrawn. Davis police had expressed concerns about the location because the dispensary would be located behind the restaurant, where law enforcement would not be able to see it clearly from the street. Still, several planning commissions voted in favor of the Delta of Venus proposal because they felt it was a good location near campus.

Also withdrawn from consideration was 5 Point Management’s proposed dispensary at 1046 Olive Dr., one of four applications unanimously opposed by planning commissioners.

Others receiving no votes in favor were Davis Cannabis Company at 1221 Third St.; Good People Farms at 140 B St.; and Manna Roots at 117 D St.

The latter three will still be making pitches to the city council on Tuesday, along with Greenbar at 965 Olive Dr. and River City Phoenix Davis at 1100 W. Chiles Road, both of which were on the wrong end of 5-1 votes from planning commissioners.

But River City’s application before the council will differ somewhat from that which the Planning Commission considered last month.

The applicant has been working with Bike Davis and city staff on design of a protected, two-way cycle track connecting the Class 1 bike trail on the southwest end of West Chiles Road to the Class 1 bike trail at Da Vinci Court — a heavily travelled route connecting the bicycle tunnel under Interstate 80 to south Davis.

The dispensary’s proposed site near the undercrossing had raised concerns among staff and planning commissioners related to bicycle and pedestrian safety — concerns which the applicants feel are not only addressed now with the cycle track but which result in a significant community benefit to the city.

All the dispensary applicants will present their proposals to the council during Tuesday’s meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in the community chambers, 23 Russell Blvd.