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Santa Clara Rejects Temporary Cannabis Ban

Santa Clara’s City Attorney and Assistant City Manager fret about how to delay the establishment of cannabis dispensaries in the city. Photo: City of Santa Clara

On Tuesday September 12 the Santa Clara City Council rejected a proposal by city staff to ban cannabis dispensaries and commercial growing and distribution. Council members objected to City Attorney Brian Doyle’s move to ban the cannabis industry from the city, precisely the opposite of their direction on August 22.

“I’m not supportive of having a temporary ban on dispensaries… we’re going to lose those revenue streams,” said City Council member Patricia Mahan. “Marijuana is now legal in California, so I am not interested in banning it.”

“I think we need to tax this, regulate this, this is a fledgling industry, and it’s a chance to reap quite a large amount of revenue,” said City Council member Dominic Caserta, who has pushed fervently for the city to permit cannabis dispensaries. “I’d like to do whatever we can to get stakeholders together and get this up and running because this is millions of dollars potentially.”

Mahan demanded to have re-read the August 22 City Council motion in which staff were directed to hire a consultant to study the city’s options for regulating dispensaries and other commercial cannabis businesses. Mayor Lisa Gillmor suggested continuing the discussion to another meeting.

City staff were again instructed to present a schedule for the hiring of a consultant at the next City Council meeting, on September 26. They are expected to return recommending approval of a temporary ban on all commercial cannabis activity once again.