It’s been five years since voters passed Prop. 64 (Cannabis Legalization). A year ago, headlines announced approval of cannabis sales in Chico. And the year before. Despite an adopted ordinance the process is mired by a hostile council, and important components have been intentionally sidelined.
Left in limbo are those who had invested in applications and facilities to distribute, test or manufacture; all legal under ordinance but suspended by behind-the-scenes maneuvers. And possible retail storefronts, determined by population, were reduced from four to three with no explanation.
When these three storefront businesses are chosen – if ever – they must stock cannabis produced, tested – and taxed – from other areas.
Twenty-nine applicants have paid $10,803 each to vie for a Chico storefront. Most have been paying rent for two years (the review process is site specific). Yet, it is likely another year or more before the magical city sorting hat finishes its work.
Where does this hostility come from? Councilmember Sean Morgan was asked about legalizing, he said “my answer is not only no, but hell no.” He and Councilmember Reynolds hijacked the ordinance almost a year ago, reworking the resolution on fees. Veterans and seniors in need be damned.