Town of Truckee council agrees with staff cannabis recommendation
After a 10-month period of discussion and debate about Truckee’s options to regulate marijuana, town staffers recommended Tuesday, Oct. 24, that cannabis and related products be made available for adults and medicinal use by delivery service only.
Along with this policy, staffers directed the Truckee Town Council issue an interim moratorium ordinance, which would temporarily prohibit all commercial cannabis operations in the town starting on Jan. 1, 2018.
The recommendation also noted that cannabis facilities needed for delivery services be located 1,000 feet from all schools, day care facilities, and parks, and also be restricted from downtown districts, with the exception of downtown manufacturing. The recommendations were made during an evening council meeting at town hall.
“Nobody I have met within this industry is interested in this falling into the hands of a 16 year old with a fake ID,” said Town of Truckee Police Department Chief Robert Leftwich.
During public comment, many people expressed concern that the recommended restrictions did not leave enough realistic possibilities for cannabis businesses to successfully operate, and that a delivery service method had more potential danger than a storefront.
Storefront cannabis dispensaries would have security cameras, security guards, and an established facility, which might be safer than a delivery service where they would only have a car that could potentially carry large amounts of cash and product.
“By having a storefront that we can point to, and saying there’s a time and a place and it looks like that, and if it doesn’t it’s wrong, we’re able to give parents and educators and schools more tools to distinguish what is and isn’t appropriate,” said Truckee Mayor Morgan Goodwin.
“I just don’t think making it as invisible as possible, which is our current strategy, is going to work.”
Goodwin and council member Patrick Flora agreed with the safety concerns of the public, while other council members Jessica Abrams, David Tirman, and Vice Mayor Carolyn Wallace Dee voiced concern about issues, such as identification checks, taxation, and unregistered day care centers that are not represented in the 1,000 foot buffer.
“In regards to the buffer, I’m fine with 600 (feet), I’m fine with 1,000. I mean if you think about 1,000 feet, if you go from here to the rock (in downtown), you’ve got three dispensaries. There’s not a lack of land,” Wallace Dee said.
“I think the more important thing to the buffer zone is what we’re putting there. Are we putting a warehouse for home delivery, or are we putting a retail operation that’s open to the public?”
After 3.5 hours spent solely on the topic of cannabis, the council decided to accept the staff’s recommendation and wave the rest of the night’s agenda discussion topics.
Kelsie Longerbeam is the news, business and environment reporter for the Sierra Sun and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-550-2653. Follow her on Facebook, and Twitter and Instagram @kelsielongerbm