Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union
ARCATA – Downtown business advocacy organization Arcata Main Street (AMS) has released the results of a recent member survey asking about possible cannabis sales downtown.
The City of Arcata is developing a retail cannabis ordinance, one which could allow adult use sales in various kinds of retail establishments. Currently, only Arcata's two dispensaries – Humboldt Patient Resource Center and Heart of Humboldt – are allowed to sell cannabis.
According to Jeanette Todd, AMS downtown representative, 80 responses were collected from 202 businesses surveyed.
A more detailed report which included responses from individual property owners and business owners has been provided to the City of Arcata. Most of the comments were deleted from the public report because they contained personal information. Some respondents said they would only comment confidentially out of concern about retaliation ("I like my front window," one said.)
According to the public survey, downtown Arcata business owners support on-site consumption of cannabis at designated locations. They're more or less evenly split on whether cannabis businesses should be located at some minimum distance from the bars.
Respondents were mostly unconcerned about the impacts on Arcata's image. with about 40 percent predicting a negative impact, about 22 percent saying it will have a positive impact and another roughly 40 percent not concerned.
Options for downtown cannabis sales, including types of businesses, location and allowable presentation, were also scoped at the recent D Street Neighborhood Center workshop on downtown issues.
The results of that meeting, and the AMS survey, will likely be considered at a highly anticipated City Council meeting about the Plaza set for Wednesday, Feb. 21.