Following a very brief discussion, the Davis City Council voted 5-0 to limit the total number of non-storefront, delivery-only cannabis retailers in the City to four – the current number that has been approved.
In a separate action, they also voted 5-0 to approve a revision to the Davis Cannabis Collective’s Conditional Use Permit to allow them to have a delivery service. It was noted as a store-front cannabis retail shop, they were not impacted by the new ordinance, however they are covered by current ordinance that limits the number of storefront cannabis establishments to five.
The ordinance will be in effect for 18 months retroactive to September 2017 when the council passed the initial ordinance authorizing storefront cannabis dispensaries and expiring in just three month in March 2019. However, council made it clear that they anticipate both ordinances to limit cannabis dispensaries to continue at least until September 2018 to give current shops a chance to gain traction and stability in the emerging market.
To date, from June 2018 to present, four non-storefront delivery-only cannabis retailers have been approved in Davis; one is open and in operation.
Dan Carson said, “I believe this is a temporary measure that’s important for us to ensure stability in this market. In the long term, the city is not going to want to be forever determining x-number of businesses for any of these categories.”
Mayor Brett Lee said, “When we authorized the retail and delivery, we had a timeframe in mind. We weren’t really sure how long it would take for entities to open up and start conducting business. My sense is I would like to reevaluate it roughly after businesses have been in place operating with doors open… for about a year.”
He said, “I’m not likely to support any major changes at the March 2019 timeline.”
The Mayor added, “I’m very comfortable limiting the number of retail and I’m very comfortable limiting the number of delivery services.” He said, “We really have asked a lot of these entities and I think it’s only fair that there is a special status given to them, in terms of we’re not just going to continually approve, approve, approve, and suddenly they’re one of 50 delivery entities or one of 50 retail establishments.”
“We need to allow a little bit of time for these businesses to become successful and for us to understand kind of what works and what doesn’t work,” he said.
City Manager Mike Webb said that there would be an official evaluation later on in the process to determine along with Davis Police as to whether there are entities violating the delivery restrictions.
Davis Cannabis Collective was one of five dispensaries that was granted a CUP in June. The other four, originally approved cannabis dispensaries received concurrent authorization for delivery services at the time of Council approval of their use permit applications.
Unlike the four other cannabis dispensaries approved at that time, Davis Cannabis Collective did not include delivery as part of their application stating that their intent was to initially concentrate on the dispensary operation and to add delivery at a later time.
In approving the application Couniclmember Will Arnold quipped, “I thought we already did this.”
Mayor Brett Lee added, “This applicant went through a very rigorous selection process for the retail business… All of us were very comfortable having this be one of the five locations that we did approve and all of the other businesses had a delivery component.”
Councilmember Arnold added, “Their lack of a delivery component was not a factor in my decision to support their application.”
The ordinance passed on Tuesday will remain in effect until March, but council seems likely to extend that moratorium at least until September.
—David M. Greenwald reporting