A majority of the City Council is open to allowing a single cannabis dispensary in Suisun City along some parts of Railroad Avenue.
That was the direction it gave to city staff who is drafting a retail commercial cannabis ordinance that will come back to the council later this spring.
Allowing a dispensary in town has been the biggest area of debate that the city council has been wrestling with since late last year when it started crafting a retail marijuana ordinance.
Council members Mike Segala and Jane Day represented the minority voicing concern about how close housing is to the commercial services and fabricating zoning area within which a dispensary would be allowed to operate.
Resident Wayne Day called allowing the dispensary into that area a bad idea “and one that will come back and bite you.”
Jane Day repeatedly said the ordinance had to allow the delivery of medical marijuana to Suisun City residents who need it.
Mayor Pete Sanchez said residents will still be buying marijuana whether or not Suisun City allows a dispensary. If not, they will simply be traveling to Vallejo’s dispensaries to buy and bring back marijuana.
Sanchez said the amount of sales tax money the dispensaries generate “is money that I cannot close my eyes to knowing what our police will be facing.”
Income generated from the dispensary would help fund a police officer who would be trained in laws and regulations surrounding the cannabis industry to minimize health and public safety concerns, a report to the council states.
Sanchez said he had no problem putting all that potential tax income to fund police, but other council members talked about spending some of it in other areas, such as anti-drug youth programs.
The Suisun City Council has spent the past five months working out what commercial marijuana presence it wants within city limits.
Tuesday night’s talk was mostly about deciding whether it wanted a single dispensary in town and where it would be allowed to set up shop.
Paul Junker, who oversees special planning projects, suggested allowing one in the commercial services zone along Railroad Avenue and only allowed in with a conditional use permit, which could be revoked.
The city would require prospective dispensary owners to submit proposals to City Hall laying out business and security plans, and showing a willingness to deal with any city concerns.
“This would allow you to vet the best operator,” Junker said.
The City Council has previously supported having any commercial activities limited to a cannabis business zone located in a nonresidential part of Suisun City.