Manteca will allow legal sales of marijuana in stores from 2022, unless in two weeks a board member changes his mind.

City council on Tuesday with dissident Dave Breitenbucher and Jose Nuño approved an ordinance allowing legal retail sales. It becomes official in January if the council approves the second reading of the ordinance scheduled for December 21.

It took five motions for council to make the decision to cap a one-year verification process involving numerous workshops and community hearings.

An offer by Nuño to allow only medicinal and non-recreational sales was rejected after only obtaining support from Breitenbucher. Nuno’s defeated motion also sought to increase the separation of a marijuana retailer and school from the proposed 600 feet to 1,000 feet.

Cantu brought forward a motion to allow retail sales in stores as well as industrial marijuana crops, cannabis testing facilities, and Manteca-only pot delivery businesses. He died, however, for lack of a second.

The motion that was ultimately passed increased the distance between the proposed 200-foot-to-600-foot separation between a plot where there are religious gathering places, drug addiction and homeless shelters, a youth center, commercial daycares, libraries and parks and any potential retail business. marijuana store front.

Schools remained at 600 feet.

Breitenbucher and Nuño both thanked their colleagues for adding the distance despite voting against the retained motion.

The motion that was passed dropped any specific separation required from nearby residential uses.

City Councilor Gary Singh has repeatedly emphasized that any applicant for an exact site allowed within the parameters of the ordinance must always obtain council approval before proceeding. This means that if there are concerns about the isolation of the potential impacts of a storefront site from nearby residential properties or other uses, council could deny a use permit.

The move came after council heard from 23 people – including at least six pastors – against allowing legal sales of jars to The Family City. Four voted in favor of the ordinance. Another speaker was on the fence, noting positive medicinal uses, but noting how this has created serious problems for some users.

The council’s decision came after the Planning Commission won a 4-1 vote last month, with Commissioner Leonard Smith dissenting, objecting to allowing cannabis sales in stores in Manteca.

Previously, Nuño had questioned Manteca Police Captain Stephen Schluer about the manpower the police would need to enforce the provisions of the marijuana ordinance. Schuler shared that the department is studying the need to add a lieutenant, a code enforcement officer and two police officers dedicated to street crimes.

Schluer, responding to a question, noted that the additional posts would address other issues as well, with the two street crime officers also tackling illegal drug activities.

In response to a question from council, City Manager Toby Wells said there was no preliminary cost estimate for the additional police personnel. Wells proposed that it typically costs between $ 175,000 and $ 200,000 for overall salary, health benefits, pension contributions, workers’ compensation, and equipment costs for an entry-level police officer.

Considering that and the cost of a lieutenant and a code enforcement officer, but not including potential overtime, basic positions qualify, staffing costs could easily exceed $ 750,000 per year.

Wells noted that not all positions would be added at the same time and would be phased in as permits are issued for dispensaries.

Based on pledges from board members who advocated for the authorization of legal marijuana sales to Manteca, cannibal retail license holders would cover the cost of enforcing and monitoring regulations and generate revenues. additional funds beyond the general public one-cent and one-half-cent sales tax. security tax to help fund municipal services.

This will likely be covered by individual negotiations with applicants for the three permits that will be authorized regarding the “community benefits” they will pay to be allowed to do business in Manteca.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email [email protected]

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