The Madera City Council took one step closer to opening recreational marijuana shops in the city limits on Monday.
The City Council heard two ordinances which amend the city’s zoning code as well as establish the operating regulations for cannabis retail stores.
Monday’s ordinance introduction comes after Madera voters approved Measure R last November, which established a cannabis business tax and kicked off the process for the City Council to bring recreational marijuana to Madera.
The city’s zoning code has been amended to allow cannabis retail stores in light and heavy commercial zones, as highlighted in the following map:
Industrial zones and industrial parks will also now allow for the cultivation, distribution, manufacturing testing labs and retail of cannabis. Those zones are illustrated in the following map:
To go along with the zoning changes, Madera’s new cannabis regulatory ordinance details the requirements for interested parties to obtain a cannabis business permit.
Per the ordinance, businesses will submit an application to the city and then take part in a public meeting to receive community feedback. Following that, applications will be vetted by city staff and submitted to the council for approval.
The regulatory ordinance also outlines the operating requirements for retail cannabis businesses.
Marijuana shops will not be allowed to post an image or logo of cannabis or related products in any signs for the business. The signs can only have identification information on them.
Businesses must also prevent anyone under the age of 21 from entering the stores. The ordinance requires that businesses check the IDs of all patrons before they enter. That rule does not apply for individuals aged 18-21 who have a medical marijuana recommendation from a physician.
While the City Council will look to approve these operating rules and regulations at a future meeting, the council also has further actions to discuss before cannabis shops will open for business.
The City Council will move forward with the following items at a future meeting:
- Establish a housing fund for school district and local government employees to be used toward the purchase of their primary residence.
- Establish a local hire preference, requiring that at least 80 percent of non-management employees be from the area.
- Allow for two social equity cannabis retail establishments.
- Establish the criteria for vetting permit applications.