Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 6, 2017

Puff puff give

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

On Tuesday night the City Council — after some weekend policy making — will be getting the first look at the resulting ordinance regarding cannabis related businesses and activity.

The staff report is very detailed on some of the major issues and includes things like revamping the smoking ordinance separately:

Staff is now requesting that City Council introduce two separate ordinances, one amending the City’s smoking ordinance to include prohibiting smoking cannabis consistent with the existing prohibition on smoking tobacco in public places, including parks and in multi-family housing, and one amending the AMC to regulate cannabis business activities, including on-site consumption within an approved dispensary.

Details what is and what is not allowed, so far:

The ordinance:

  • Prohibits most indoor and outdoor cannabis commercial cultivation;
  • Prohibits microbusinesses;
  • Prohibits delivery-only cannabis businesses, including dispensaries that are closed to the public;
  • Prohibits adult use, non-medicinal dispensaries;
  • Permits cultivation solely as a nursery (production of clones, immature plants, seeds, etc.);
  • Permits medicinal dispensaries and the delivery of medicinal cannabis only in connection with those dispensaries;
  • Permits on-site consumption in conjunction with medicinal dispensaries;
  • Permits cannabis manufacturing and distribution in connection with manufacturing;
  • Permits cannabis testing labs.

The ordinance also:

  • Caps the number of nurseries at one;
  • Caps the number of medicinal dispensaries, including on-site consumption, at two, and requires the dispensaries to be disbursed to avoid concentrating the dispensaries in a single area of the City;
  • Caps the number of manufacturing facilities at four; and
  • Caps the number of testing facilities at two.

As to where cannabis related businesses can be located:

Staff will be recommending that the Planning Board consider recommending that the City Council approve an ordinance amending the Zoning Code to permit:

  • Medicinal dispensaries in the Community Commercial (C-C), North Park – Work (NP-W), North Park – Gateway (NP-G) and Alameda Point – Adaptive Reuse (AP- AR) Zones.
  • Nurseries, manufacturing facilities, and testing labs in the Commercial- Manufacturing (C-M), Alameda Point – Enterprise District (AP-E1 and AP-E2) and AP-AR Zones.

Staff is asking that MX zoning be excluded from hosting cannabis related businesses as MX zoning is mixed used and will sometimes have housing on site.  The current exception staff is seeking is for Marina Village which could housing the nurseries, manufacturing, and testing labs.

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Of course cannabis related businesses would not be allowed on any government owned property.

And there is the big question about which sites would be completely off limits to cannabis related businesses due to its proximity to schools and things.   That conversation always appears to conclude (1000 feet radius from sensitive uses) but then more questions arise like should parks be included?  If not all parks then what about parks with after school programs on site.  I guess the discussion will continued based on the most recent map which shows schools and day care centers with a 600 and 1000 foot buffer around and if ARPD youth centers were added to the sensitive use designation:

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There’s some more assorted policy decisions like local hire, labor peace, an equity program, etc which is probably more important to cannabis businesses looking to move in to Alameda than everyone else who either might be a consumer or not impacted at all.

1 Comment

  1. The draft ordinance requires submission of a labor peace agreement (or a pledge to enter one) as part of the license application process. In its simplest form, a labor peace agreement usually means an agreement not to picket or boycott in return for a promise by the employer to grant access to labor organizers to the workplace. The draft ordinance is unclear as to whether the applicant need only submit a single labor peace agreement with one union, or if it would be required to enter into such an agreement with any union that sought to enter into one. If an applicant is required to supply only one agreement, that would likely give an inside track to the signatory union. The UFCW has been very supportive of laws permitting retail/dispensary sales of cannabis and is likely a proponent of the requirement for labor peace agreements, generally.

    Labor-management issues such as access are regulated by federal law. Local legislation requiring labor peace agreements can be preempted by the federal National Labor Relations Act. A major exception to that is when a city is merely setting the rules for companies that supply goods or services to the city, but here we are talking about conditions for obtaining a license. Certain industries, such as agriculture, fall outside the coverage of the NLRA and the jurisdiction of the NLRB. (I’m no expert and that is about the extent of my knowledge)

    I would assume that most applicants for the limited number of licenses will comply with the requirement and won’t try to woo the City with a lawsuit, but am also curious as to whether the city has looked into whether this is consistent with federal labor law and whether it exposes the city to any risk.

    Comment by MP — November 6, 2017 @ 4:24 pm

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