Lakeport will not move forward with retail cannabis stores or events

The Lake County Record – Bee


LAKEPORT— The Lakeport City Council during their Tuesday meeting gave direction to city staff to not update the existing cannabis ordinance and to not allow cannabis retail stores or cannabis events.

Since the Council decided to not move forward at this time, city staff will not be making updates until after further research is conducted.

This topic was brought to the council after there was some interest in having a store front within city limits and city officials discussed the potential of having events at the Lake County fairgrounds where there could be selling of cannabis products.

Currently, the Lakeport Municipal Code allows for: cannabis cultivation, commercial cannabis testing, commercial cannabis distribution, commercial cannabis manufacturing and some commercial cannabis retailers’ activity.

Lakeport Community Development Director Joey Hejnowicz said when this was brought to the Lakeport Planning Commission in October 2023. Four of the five Planning Commissioners supported permitting a cannabis storefront and events.

“The only Planning Commissioner not in support of permitting retail cannabis and cannabis events discussed that cannabis businesses and cannabis events are not appropriate for Lakeport,” said Hejnowicz.

Lakeport City Manager Kevin Ingram said this was brought up back in 2018 when the council reviewed the negative and positive impacts of cannabis retail. He added that at the time, Lakeport residents were also against cannabis storefronts due to the concern of the overall image of the city.

“At the time they decided on delivery only and we could revisit this at a later time,” Ingram said. “It is easier to always add uses rather than subtract them from ordinances.”

The ordinance also currently does not allow for cannabis events. California voters passed Proposition 64 in 2016, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. This legalized recreational marijuana use for adults who are 21 years or older.

In other council business, the council approved to enter into an agreement with Bob Hall and Associates for recruitment of a new Chief of Police. This required a budget amendment to the city’s budget of $27,000.

Lakeport Police Chief Brad Rasmussen announced his intention to retire by the fall of 2024. This firm will conduct a comprehensive outreach campaign to get a high-quality candidate pool for the position.

According to the City of Lakeport’s staff report, Bob Hall and Associates “demonstrated the strongest law enforcement experience and credentials.” They also exhibited experience in understanding and working with the challenges of small agencies.

The next city council meeting will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, at 6 p.m. at the Lakeport City Hall.

Lakeport will not move forward with retail cannabis stores or events

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