CA: Hesperia Council Votes To Expand Cannabis Business Zone

Ron Strider

Well-Known Member
The Council approved an amendment by a 4-1 vote that regulates cannabis activity in the city and expands the eligible area for the establishment of delivery services.

During its Nov. 21 meeting, the Council approved changing the eligible area for cannabis delivery service businesses by expanding a portion of the Commercial Industrial Business Park (CIBP) zone district.

The cannabis CIBP district area lies between Juniper and Smoke Tree streets, and Santa Fe Avenue East and I Avenue, with the expansion adding parcels scattered along I Avenue between Juniper and Lemon streets.

The cannabis zone requires all delivery businesses to be situated at least 600 feet from any residence, residential or agricultural zone, place of worship, school, park, playground, day care center or other location where children regularly gather.

The same distance must be adhered to as it relates to any other adult businesses, liquor stores, hookah lounges, massage facilities or residential care units.

"Technically, our cannabis regulation is a good thing as it limits the state's influence on our city," Mayor Russ Blewett told the Daily Press. "It's a good thing anytime we limit the state's influence on us. And I can promise you this – we're not going to become another Adelanto."

Councilman Larry Bird cast the dissenting vote on the amendment, emphasizing that he's "not opposed" to any individual having the right to access medical marijuana, but is concerned the "ease of accessibility" of recreational marijuana will "open a Pandora's Box."

"My concern is that it's going to invade our schools, homes and community," Bird said. "This is not about taking away anyone's rights to use marijuana. What we're talking about is the expansion of marijuana into our community."

Bird cited the Colorado Springs publication "The Gazette," which recognized the fifth anniversary of Colorado's decision to sanction marijuana activity.

In the last five years, the homeless rate has increased, the number of marijuana-related fatalities also increased and drug violations reported by Colorado's K-12 schools have increased 45 percent, the Gazette said.

But Councilman Bill Holland said the city is legalizing the delivery of medical cannabis and "not the recreational side of the house," with the city developing "tempered and controlled" regulations.

Mayor Paul Russ, who attended the meeting via an online telecommunications application, said he understood Bird's concern, but added he does not see marijuana making a big influence on the community.

"The people that are smoking will continue to smoke and those that eat will continue to eat," Russ said. "As for medicinal marijuana, I think we shouldn't stand between those who are hurting and the relief they seek. I want to be compassionate about the medical side of cannabis."

Russ is currently living in Louisiana temporarily in hopes of obtaining a kidney and liver transplant through Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans.

Councilwoman Rebekah Swanson said she won't stand between a patient and their physician.

"My daughter is undergoing a difficult medical issue – a cyst in her brain," Swanson said. "If the doctor said cannabis was the only way to treat it, I don't think I'd be happy about someone taking away that option."

The Council originally adopted the cannabis ordinance in September, which regulates cannabis delivery and other related business activities within city limits.


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Full Article: Hesperia Council votes to expand cannabis business zone - News - - Victorville, CA
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