Mountain View’s move toward allowing retail cannabis sales has gone up in smoke.
Despite the city council’s initial approval of two storefronts and two delivery businesses last October, the council May 23 voted unanimously to eliminate retail sales entirely. Instead, members OK’d up to three marijuana delivery businesses.
Mayor Lisa Matichak and Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga led the charge, with buy-in from three council members who were elected after the council’s initial October approvals. Councilmen John McAlister and Chris Clark, who initially supported retail sales, went with the council majority.
The issue of retail marijuana sales proved volatile, with more than 150 speakers – most in opposition – showing up to council meetings addressing the issue in March and last week. Many claimed to be parents who did not want their children exposed to the “evils” of cannabis consumption.
The council resurrected discussion of the previously approved cannabis ordinance in February when new member Ellen Kamei suggested amending the law to create a no-cannabis buffer zone in the San Antonio area where the Los Altos School District is looking to build a new campus.
The council agreed to discuss changes in March, but stayed firm about keeping retail, even as Matichak proposed to eliminate it. Sensing an about-face, representatives of cannabis businesses claimed the city led them astray as they applied for licenses in assuming the ordinance was finalized. But opponents saw an opportunity for the council to right a wrong. They pointed to the Milpitas City Council, which reversed its approval of cannabis retail after a public outcry.
A second reading and adoption of the new cannabis ordinance is set for June 11. It becomes law 31 days from adoption. For more on the story, read the Town Crier’s June 5 print edition.