South Lake Tahoe to allow two cannabis microbusinesses |

South Lake Tahoe to allow two cannabis microbusinesses

Claire Cudahy |
In this April 12, 2018, photo, a worker at the Hollingsworth Cannabis Company packages pre-rolled marijuana joints near Shelton, Wash. America's marijuana supporters have a lot to celebrate on this 420 holiday: Thirty states have legalized some form of medical marijuana, according to a national advocacy group. Nine of those states and Washington, D.C., also have broad legalization where adults 21 and older can use pot for any reason. Michigan could become the 10th state with its ballot initiative this year. Yet cannabis remains illegal under federal law, and it still has many opponents.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

South Lake Tahoe City Council has provided direction on a mostly-complete ordinance governing commercial cannabis, but a few big decisions still need to be made by the electeds.

At Tuesday’s meeting, City Council opted to permit two retail cannabis operations and two indoor cultivations less than 5,000 square feet. They also decided to allow two microbusinesses, which can operate three cannabis related activities — like manufacturing, retail and cultivation — under one permit. All aspects of the business must also be housed on one property, and the state’s regulations mandate the cultivation is less than 10,000 square feet.

Council did not discuss whether it would reduce the microbusinesses’ grow square footage to match its cultivation license limit.

Where these businesses will fit within the city’s zoning guidelines has not yet been determined. It also is unclear how council will handle South Lake Tahoe’s lone medical marijuana dispensary, Tahoe Wellness Cooperative, which recently secured a temporary state microbusiness license.

At the same meeting, council decided to allow unlimited cannabis testing facilities, not permit separate distribution licenses (though this is an allowable activity under the microbusiness license), and also to not allow on-site consumption.

The craft breweries of cannabis? Discussion on microbusinesses heats up in South Lake Tahoe

Members of council expressed concern about the lack of a definitive test for police to determine intoxication by cannabis. Delivery of product will be allowed as long as it originates from a licensed retail location.

City Council plans to determine who the operators will be by negotiating development agreements that stipulate a percentage of revenue sharing until residents vote on a tax measure. The selection process will be merit-based with a preference for local residents. Council will flesh out the approval process at a future meeting.

Sergio Rudin, a lawyer from Burke, Williams and Sorensen filling in for Nira Doherty, said he would finalize the ordinance and bring it before council at a meeting in May.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User