Andrew George Butler
Mad River Union
ARCATA – Arcata’s Medical Marijuana Innovation Zone may now have as many as 20 permitted cannabis businesses.
The permit cap raise, up from the zone’s original four, took effect July 21.
The changes to Ordinance No. 1488 passed by a unanimous vote a month ago during the June 21 Arcata City Council meeting.
The ordinance brings Arcata’s regulations and permitting practices in line with California’s current laws governing medical cannabis.
The ordinance also cuts down on confusing, sometimes repetitive language, and brings the zone up to speed with the rest of Arcata’s land use codes.
Andrew Whitney, deputy director of Community Development said of the new and improved ordinance, “It will go a long way to help streamline our work, and it brings us in line with the rest of California.”
During public comment, Kent Sawatzsky voiced his pleasure with the amended ordinance. “When you concentrate [cannabis] in one area, the effect on downtown is minimized, so anything you do to keep it within [zone] and to keep tuning it up is great for the people,” Sawatsky said.
Already two different parties are seeking permits within the zone.
Whitney said the Community Development Department is drafting a recreational cannabis code.
A draft addressing recreational cannabis may be ready by late August or early September.