LA council hashes out next steps for retail sales of cannabis

Retail and delivery cannabis shops could soon be budding in Los Altos after the city council directed staff to conduct outreach and prepare an ordinance on taxing marijuana businesses.

After Proposition 64 legalized recreational cannabis in November 2016, the city adopted an urgency ordinance to temporarily prohibit medicinal and adult-use commercial cannabis sales within city limits. Since then, the council asked staff to research allowing cannabis businesses in Los Altos and imposing a local tax on them.

Mtn. View council blazes forward with cannabis zoning

The Mountain View City Council largely signed off on preliminary plans to license and zone cannabis retail within the city earlier this month, a move that could make it one of the first cities on the Peninsula to join San Jose in permitting recreational marijuana shops later this year.

The city’s staff recommended a lottery-based approval process for selecting shop operators, citing the intensive volume of applications received by some cities, a desire for fairness and the need to not violate land-use requirements that bar favoring any one specific applicant based on his or her perceived characteristics. At their May 8 council meeting, council members questioned how a streamlined permitting process could still privilege applicants that appeared to demonstrate prior experience or other signals of likely future success, but overall supported the staff’s proposed approach.

Attaching a value to your airline miles and points

How do you value your frequent-flier miles and hotel points and maximize their value? If I were a tech bro (which I am not), I might have called it “travel hacking.” Instead, I will call it “optimizing your digital currency.”

Hotel points and miles you have both from actual flying and from credit card spending have significant value. However, the value may not be as clear as money in a bank account. There has been a rush in the past few years to market airline and hotel-branded credit cards that reward card holders with points and miles based on every dollar of spending. While this may seem good for consumers, remember that the airlines are carrying the miles as a liability in their balance sheets. It is in their best interest to encourage customers to use up their miles.

Comings and Goings: New shops appear, while old favorites breathe new life

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Art of capital cities from countries that ring the Mediterranean has been arriving at Yusuf Tosun’s expanded space for Cafe Nur, above, a restaurant on Main Street with Turkish specialties.

A shop exclusively devoted to Taiwanese tea and snacks has secured a spot in downtown Los Altos. T4 Los Altos is scheduled to take over 131 Main St., previously the longtime home of women’s clothing store Shoko Los Altos, this summer.

The boba tea cafe offers chilled black tea with big, chewy tapioca pearls floating in its depths – the signature drink for the style – but also smoothies, snacks and other teas.

How to exercise due diligence to make the right financial decisions

I heard a radio commercial the other morning while commuting to work. It was from some real estate firm that promised to teach me how to buy, hold and sell properties with no money down and no risk. Imagine that: No risk! How could anyone turn down such an offer?

  It can be difficult to exercise the due diligence necessary to make good investment decisions. It is easier, however, to avoid making bad ones by watching out for questionable claims that suggest a questionable investment. Following are a few from my list.

Former founder launches local effort aimed at teaching 'NIMBLE' mindset

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mariette Wharton moved back to Los Altos ready to share her entrepreneurial mindset with a new audience.

After nearly a decade of nonstop scramble while co-founding and then selling her own startup, Los Altos resident Mariette Wharton liked the idea of gaining more control over the pace of her own work. She also had an interest in mentorship after experiencing meaningful moments of coaching early in her own career.

“There can be these seminal moments, where you can point out to somebody – do a self-assessment. How do your strengths and weaknesses work with your sense of purpose?” she said.

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