Commercial cannabis-related activity is currently prohibited under the Lathrop Municipal Code.
But that could change depending on which direction the Lathrop City Council chooses to go after a special city council meeting next week that will also serve as a workshop and study session to give council members more information about the options.
The meeting is scheduled for Monday, Aug., 2 at 6 p.m. inside of the council chambers at Lathrop City Hall – located at 390 Towne Centre Drive. A copy of the agenda can be obtained by visiting the City of Lathrop’s website at www.ci.lathrop.ca.us.
According to the staff report prepared for Monday’s meeting, the Lathrop City Council has been given two updates about commercial cannabis during meetings this year – back in February and earlier this month – to apprise them of developments on the regulated cannabis front.
If Lathrop were to choose to allow commercial cannabis activities – whether that is commercial growing operations, manufacturing operations, testing sites, or even retail sales – they would be joining a growing list of Northern San Joaquin Valley communities that have gotten on-board with the idea since California voters legalized recreational cannabis with Proposition 64 in 2016.
So far, the cities of Riverbank, Ceres, Stockton, Tracy, Modesto, Patterson, and Oakdale – as well as San Joaquin County – have decided to allow the cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution of commercial recreational and medicinal cannabis.
If Lathrop were to follow suit, the process would likely include the creation of specific regulations and a concrete process that begins with applications, moves on a structured selection process, and then the outlining of specific application requirements and necessary fees that will be included as part of the process.
Manteca recently held a similar series of workshops intended to gather input from the general community as well as detail the possible steps that would be needed to make commercial cannabis safe and functional for the wider community.
Manteca, much like Lathrop, took a strict approach to retail cannabis even before California voters approved legalization. Lathrop currently doesn’t even allow any outdoor cultivation regardless of whether it is for recreational or medicinal use.
While Manteca hasn’t yet formally voted on whether to allow commercial cannabis in the community, several law enforcement experts from counties that have allowed it spoke at the workshop meetings to talk about the process involved in setting up a system that works for both the commercial cannabis operators and the community. Limiting the number of permits and where such businesses can operate, for example, has been widely used to control the number of cannabis businesses and to ensure that only high-integrity applicants make it through the screening process.
And it won’t be the first time that Lathrop has discussed the idea of commercial cannabis.
Even before California voters approved Proposition 64 the city gathered experts and community members to discuss the possibility of medicinal marijuana dispensaries in the community but opted not to change the city’s existing municipal code ban on such establishments.
While it is a special meeting, the public is still invited to speak to the council on any items that are not on the agenda and will have the chance the following week on Aug. 9 when the council holds its regularly scheduled August meeting.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.