Cannabis shops request another hearing

Three failed applicants vie for second city permit

Cannabis

Cannabis was not on the agenda for the Hollister City Council meeting Monday, but that did not stop three dispensary applicants from requesting reconsideration.

Last week, the city leaders approved just one—out of two—possible medical cannabis dispensaries. Purple Cross Rx received the go-ahead, while three other applicants, Haven, Higher Level of Care and Traditional Roots each failed to secure the second permit.

During public comment Monday, the applicants asked the council to reconsider their applications.

Applicant Taylor Rodrigues of Haven requested to be agendized for an up or down vote at the September 5 council meeting.

“Haven has submitted multiple written comments to your council over the last several months detailing many concerns about fairness and mandated process,” Rodrigues said. “We even sent a certified letter to the city attorney requesting the city follow the appropriate process mandated by your council. With the city attorney’s recusal it is unclear to us if this was provided to you in your agenda packet before the August 14 meeting.”

City Attorney Soren Diaz recused himself from the August 14 meeting because of his ties to local law firm L+G, which represents some of the cannabis applicants.

On the advice of legal counsel, Haven plans to submit a formal notice of appeal to the city clerk, Rodrigues said.

Sal Palma, who applied for a dispensary permit as Higher Level of Care and was awarded two cultivation and manufacturing permits as Hollister Holistics, asked the council to reconsider their bid to operate a dispensary at 1802 Shelton Drive.

“We’re over 1,100 feet from the nearest sensitive use,” Palma said. “I also have an existing dispensary in Monterey County that’s been operating there legally for over two years now and has over 9,800 active patients.”

Palma said he could have the final inspection for a certificate of occupancy conducted by Friday.

“That being the case, we’d be able to start hiring within one week creating 20 new jobs immediately,” he said. “Within three weeks we’d be operational and generating tax revenue for the city.”

Councilman Ray Friend asked the three applicants to be agendized for reevaluation at the September 5 meeting.

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