The third of four workshops designed to collect community input as to whether the City of Manteca should allow retail marijuana sales is this Saturday.
It takes place at 11 a.m. in the council chambers at the Manteca Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St. You can also participate virtually. Join via Zoom: https://bit.ly/35w11YT
The City Council is having staff collect as much input as possible via workshops to gauge community opinion and comments on the municipal proposal.
Council members have been advised there are two retail operations they could allow. One would be a storefront with deliveries and the other an operation with a physical location but only providing a delivery service.
Mayor Ben Cantu has been leading the charge to make storefront marijuana sales legal. It was part of his successful 2018 campaign platform.
Cantu made it clear in mid-May when the council decided to move ahead with the workshops that he will be voting to allow marijuana sales. Councilman Dave Breitenbucher made it clear he wouldn’t back the measure.
That means two of the remaining three council members — Jose Nuño, Gary Singh, and Charlie Halford — will have to support a measure to make pot sales legal in Manteca for it to happen.
Nuño and Singh were on the council subcommittee that examined the issue. They spent months researching what other cities have done, the impacts legalized marijuana sales created both pro and con, and identifying issues the city would need to address.
Singh generally favors allowing the sale but has always made it clear he wants to make sure it is something the community is on board with first with hence the extensive vetting process.
In comments made at the mid-May meeting Nuño shared his personal thoughts on marijuana were negative although he acknowledged its medicinal properties. The councilman, however, said he will base his decision on whether the community indicates it favors legalizing sales at the four community workshops, the planning commission level, as well as before the council in addition to comments they might forward to elected officials.
Councilman Charlie Halford made it clear in May that he’s “not diametrically opposed” to the concept of legalizing marijuana sales in Manteca but said he will need a lot of convincing.
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