A successful ballot measure to legalize cannabis sales in 2016 capped the number of dispensary licenses at 32, all of which have been claimed.
The City Council is considering creating new opportunities for “equity” applicants who meet certain criteria.
On Tuesday leaders may vote to have the City Attorney draw up a new law that would allow additional adult-use dispensaries to operate in the city, which could include changes to buffers from parks and beaches, and an increase to the cannabis tax rate.
The recommendations the council will consider were contained in a feasibility report that was recently published on the city’s website.
It called for a multitude of changes, including strengthening the city’s municipal code to help protect equity applicants from predatory business partners and increasing the cannabis tax rate by .25% to help pay for additional staffing to support equity applicants throughout their business operations.
The report suggested using a hybrid approval process that would vet applications with a merit-based approach to determine which applicants were most likely to be successful and then put those applicants through a lottery to determine who gets one of the eight licenses.
Councilman Al Austin, who asked for a feasibility report in