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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hayward City Council is open to dabbling in cannabis

Hayward city leader have shied away from the
cannabis industry over the past seven years.
HAYWARD CITY COUNCIL
The Hayward City Council is now on track to allow cannabis businesses in the city at some point in the near future. During a work session Tuesday night there appeared to be unanimity in favor of Hayward dipping its toes into the burgeoning cannabis industry.

The City Council appeared amendable to allowing cannabis businesses to open shop, possibly including cultivation and manufacturing in its industrial areas, while also rezoning some areas for retail medical dispensaries in addition to recreational sales.

Several councilmembers also indicated a willingness to approve between 3-5 permits for cannabis businesses. There also appeared consensus over possibly seeking a lower tax rate than the city’s recently passed ballot measure capping it at 15 percent. The figure is vastly higher than any other East Bay cities. For instance, Oakland taxes cannabis sales at 5 percent, while neighboring San Leandro is proposing 7 percent.

Tuesday night's discussion amounts to a sea change in the city's stance toward cannabis. Over the past seven years, Hayward city officials have been adverse to medical cannabis dispensaries. Hayward once had a pair of medical cannabis dispensaries, but following some high-profile instances of crime at the dispensaries and strong opposition from the Hayward Police Department, the city moved to institute exclusionary zoning to essentially ban dispensaries.

The city’s change of heart was also cajoled by the passage of Proposition 64 last November and the signing last fall of a new state law bringing much-needed regulation to the industry. Cities like Hayward have until Jan. 1, 2018, under state law, to declare whether or not they will allow permitting for dispensaries or risk the state issuing the licenses on their own. Therefore, the impetus is on Hayward to take control of its own destiny on the issue.

“It’s going to be all around us and I think we should participate in it,” said Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday. "We want to regulate it in a way that preserves community safety. We can’t keep it out.”

After giving direction to city staff in favor of moving forward on cannabis, the issue could return to the city council for further discussion in June, said Halliday.

4 comments:

  1. If Mayor Halliday actually spent time in Hayward, not The Heart of The Bay, she would realize that marijuana has been "around us" for decades. I suspect they'll go for the highest tax possible because Fran David told them to before she left the sinking ship.

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  2. By MW:

    Hayward having medical marijuana dispensaries will most likely increase the amount of tax dollars collected, and if it leads to more major crime, and including murders, that is no big deal, since the primary purposes of government are: one, to collect as much money as possible; and two, to screw things up as much as possible.

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  3. Another opportunity for Al to tell his "back story" again.

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  4. By MW:

    There was a particular person, and who I will refer to as X, who for some years was one of the top assistants for a member of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. During that time X was very strongly in favor of having medical marijuana clinics in the unincorporated areas.

    However eventually X, and who lived in Hayward, got more and more involved in Hayward politics and less and less involved in AC politics, became a member of the Hayward City Council, and resigned his position with the AC Board of Supervisors.

    And then when the issue came up of whether Hayward should allow medical marijuana clinics, X, and who was now a member of the Hayward City Council, came out against it, since he said he had finally come to the conclusion that it just did not work, in other words that the presence of medical marijuana clinics did not make things better, but instead made things worse.

    So if you think that collecting additional tax dollars is more important than protecting your children's lives, than vote in favor of having medical marijuana clinics.

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