Lathrop may allow one pot dispensary to open within city

A single cannabis dispensary could be coming to the City of Lathrop.

If the Lathrop City Council approves of one, that is.

The Lathrop Planning Commission voted 4-1 – with Commissioner Steve Dresser dissenting – to amend the Lathrop Municipal Code to include new regulations designed to “protect the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of Lathrop and to enforce rules and regulations consistent with state law.”

And as part of those new regulations, the text amendment does permit for a single commercial cannabis dispensary to operate in the city in a commercial zoning district upon the issuance of a conditional use permit.

It will now be up to the Lathrop City Council to decide whether to follow the commission’s lead.

Last month, at the council’s direction, Lathrop held a commercial cannabis discussion to gather more information about the process and the specific regulations that would need to be implemented if the city were to choose to abandon its prohibition. It was the council that provided direction to staff, after that discussion, to prepare the ordinance for cannabis regulations and to allow for a single dispensary to operate within the city limits.

Communities throughout the area have been reconciling existing ordinances that previously banned commercial cannabis from existing within their city limits. Lathrop had not only barred dispensaries from operating, but also barred the growing of any cannabis outdoors – even after voters in the State of California approved Proposition 64 which allowed for the cultivation, sale, and personal use of cannabis.

Manteca has recently held a number of public forums to gather input from members of the community and experts in the emerging cannabis industry in California. The information will be taken back to the Manteca City Council before they make a formal decision on whether to relax its existing rules regarding cannabis.

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