Second cannabis dispensary opens in Marysville
Special to The Union
After months of delays, Marysville finally has both of its allowed-for medical marijuana dispensaries open for business.
By the end of the year, however, the city is looking to further expand its cannabis options, as officials consider allowing for recreational sales and delivery.
Wild Seed Wellness, located at 1109 Chestnut St., Marysville, opened a few weeks ago. Its products include flower, concentrates, edibles, tinctures and topicals, according to its Weedmaps profile.
The medical marijuana dispensary was originally slated to open in February or March but needed to update its facilities to meet certain city requirements.
“It was more about construction and meeting all the compliance issues, for them to get everything lined out on their end before they opened up,” said Marysville Police Chief Chris Sachs.
Representatives from Wild Seed Wellness did not respond for comment.
The dispensary is the second to open its doors in the city this year. The first was Perfect Union — 311 F Street, Marysville — which opened in January. The city has already benefitted from the dispensary’s operations, bringing in over $15,000 in fees since its opening, said City Manager Marti Brown.
The city is also looking at approving a cannabis testing lab within city limits. Brown said the development agreement for the facility will be discussed during today’s city council meeting. If approved, the plan is for the facility — located at the corner of Fifth Street and C Street — to open at the beginning of July. The city would receive a monthly payment of 3% on gross receipts once operational.
State law requires that all marijuana is tested and labeled before being sold.
“The labeling is really important, so people know exactly what they are getting because it has been tested. Also, if anything goes wrong with the product, they can pinpoint where the batch came from,” said Mayor Ricky Samayoa. “Bringing in the testing facility is going to be key for the cannabis industry moving forward in the area.”
Recreational cannabis sales
Last month, city officials met with a consulting firm, HdL Companies, to discuss how the city could go about managing and regulating recreational sales. Samayoa said the majority of council members at the special workshop expressed their support of the idea of bringing commercial operations to the city.
The idea is to not expand the number of dispensaries, but allow the two currently in operation to also sell recreational products. Samayoa said the change of heart came about with the passing of Proposition 64 and the state adopting regulations for commercial cannabis operations.
“We now have regulations establishing the ground rules, so we are very clear on what everyone has to do in order to participate in the industry,” he said.
Another idea officials are pondering is allowing cannabis delivery services within the jurisdiction. Companies are already providing delivery services through websites like Weedmaps and Leafly. Samayoa said without anything on the books to regulate this facet of the industry, law enforcement has little backing to hold the companies accountable, and it’s ultimately undercutting the brick-and-mortar businesses.
“We also want to include language in the new ordinance regarding mobile dispensaries,” Samayoa said. They would need to get a permit through the city if they want to do business in city limits. The folks that have invested in brick and mortar, they really are at a disadvantage when these other businesses are going unchecked.
“In many ways, we already have recreational cannabis available in the city, because of these delivery services. This way, we can have more regulations around it to make sure it’s being done properly.”
Brown said it’s hard to say exactly how expanding to allow recreational sales would impact the city financially, though it would no doubt increase the amount of revenue being brought in. Any additional funds will prove to be critical as it could result in the city adding another maintenance worker, police officer or dispatcher, Brown said.
“To me, that’s how I view the money, it might not be a lot but we have limited resources and staff capacity, and it could mean one more employee for departments that are in need of additional employees or to help with a one-time purchase of needed equipment,” Brown said.
Despite the stigma that still surrounds the cannabis industry, Samayoa said, the city hasn’t yet experienced any issues. It’s the only jurisdiction in the Yuba-Sutter area that currently allows any type of sales.
“I think our residents who consume cannabis are benefiting because they have an accessible place that is safe with good products. It’s not a judgmental thing anymore; people use cannabis, just like some people like to have a glass of beer or wine,” Samayoa said. “I think, overall, it’s been positive. We haven’t’ seen any negative effects, aside from having to deal with the mobile businesses, but hopefully this ordinance moves forward.”
Brown said city staff will work with HdL this summer on rewriting the current ordinance to allow for recreational sales and delivery services. With a recess planned for August,city council members will likely take up the ordinance change during a September meeting.
Jake Abbott writes for the Marysville Appeal Democrat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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