MANTECA SEES ‘GREEN MILE’ AS A STORE POT MODEL

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Manteca’s elected executives are expected to decide later this year whether they will allow in-store sales of marijuana.

City staff are crafting an ordinance that could potentially enable such sales based on feedback from five community workshops as well as research on cities that have “done it right”.

One of these towns is Port Hueneme in Ventura County.

Manteca received a presentation from the city police department on the fiscal and environmental impacts of medical and adult cannabis use in Port Hueneme.

Port Hueneme – a coastal town slightly larger than Ripon with a population of 21,544 – has 7 marijuana retail stores, 6 delivery operations, one grow operation, and 2 microenterprises.

These storefront operations are – or are right next to – a 5,280 foot stretch of Channel Boulevard and two more with one block hence the reference “The Green Mile”.

They have a 14-section application process that covers site control, physical and layout plan, business operations, declaration of qualification, security plan, security plan, credentials and candidate resumes, product safety and handling, neighborhood compatibility, community benefits, financial consideration, business acumen and a background check.

A typical request costs $ 30,000, of which approximately $ 12,325 is a recurring annual fee.

There is an application deposit of $ 10,000, an owner’s background check of $ 445, a conditional use permit fee of $ 4,411. Annual business license of $ 2,365 based on $ 2.5 million in annual gross receipts, $ 201 certificate of occupancy and $ 10,000 for annual audit and review.

Port Hueneme mandates:

* There are no after-hours gatherings such as social functions or events before opening or after close of business. Exceptions include sanctioned employee meetings, inventory, or pre-approved visits and inspections.

* Regular employees are required to wear uniforms that stand out from the public. This allows agents to easily identify employees during any type of critical incident or inspection.

* No employee should be under the influence of alcohol on the premises. No employee should be under the influence of marijuana to the point of causing significant impairment. Such a deficiency will be assessed by a drug recognition expert from the police.

* Security guards must be in uniform and easily identifiable. No security agent should operate as an “infiltrator” without prior notification to the police. All security personnel must be in possession of a state-mandated guard card and relevant endorsements.

* Company employees and customers should remove all sunglasses, hats, hoodies, or any type of identifying intrusion while in the company. Exceptions include religious headgear and patients undergoing special treatments that require a hairstyle.

* A high definition video security system will be accessible remotely by the chief of police or his representative at all times. At no time can the business be opened if the security system is down regardless of the presence of armed security agents.

* If a persistent odor spreads beyond company boundaries, the store has 24 hours to remedy the violation. After 24 hours, the location will be closed until the issue is resolved.

* All first floor windows and glass doors must be reinforced with “bulletproof / shatter-resistant glass” or closed with roll-up doors during off-peak hours. Bollards, planters or steel poles should be placed in front of entrance doors to prevent the vehicle from “crushing and grabbing”.

* “No strolling or soliciting” signs delineating state criminal codes and city ordinances will be clearly posted in and around premises, including parking lots.

* Power outages will cause the business to temporarily shut down until all systems, including security cameras and alarm systems, are back on line.

* All personnel will be “scanned live” and will be subject to a thorough investigation by the police department. Employees will not be allowed to work until an approval letter and badge have been issued by the police department.

* All staff must complete a Responsible Cannabis Server certification course within six months of hire.

The Port Hueneme Police Department recommends cities:

* Place a cap on the number of cannabis businesses they plan to allow opening.

* Designate a person to take charge of the cannabis process.

* Must ensure that the police service is a key stakeholder and actively involved.

* Customize a cannabis plan that meets the needs of their community.

Prohibitions on property and works include conviction for a violent or serious crime or convictions involving drug trafficking, fraud, deception or embezzlement.

There are 251 dispensary employees involved in strictly storefront operations. They had an average wage of $ 18 per hour and $ 38,000 per year.

The windows had 2,200 customers per day in July 2020, or 66,000 customers per month.

Among these clients, 35% were between 21 and 30 years old, 25% between 31 and 40 years old, 14% between 41 and 50 years old, 12% between 51 and 60 years old and 14% over 60 years old. Only 10 percent were residents of Port Hueneme.

The city in 2020 received $ 2.5 million in cannabis taxes while companies made $ 500,000 in community contributions.

Since 2018, there has been a 26% drop in crime and no homicides, as well as a 1% decrease in property crime in “The Green Mile”.

There is no automatic renewal of permits and minor decoy infiltration operations are carried out.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email [email protected]


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