A moratorium on new commercial marijuana dispensaries will continue until Christmas because the City Council wants more of a track record from those already approved.
Of those with permits, only Flavors is open, on busy Patterson Road near Oakdale Road, and a second hopes to be in operation in a few weeks. The council wants to see if they have problems before taking applications for more.
So far, Flavors has been mostly quiet, according to a city staff report. In its first three months, police responded to three calls there, and only one involved a crime when a vendor's vehicle was broken into. By way of comparison, in the same time period police responded to eight calls at nearby O'Brien's Market, five each at the Dollar Tree and AM/PM, and four at Taqueria Los Compadres.
Staff also reported no congestion from vehicles of Flavors' patrons.
Councilman Cal Campbell lives in the area and drives and walks by all the time. "I'm always looking because I told the public I would keep my eye on it, and I haven't seen any problems with traffic that you could blame on the Flavors dispensary," he said at Tuesday's council meeting.
So far, Flavors has given City Hall more than $75,000 in "public benefit payments" as required in its permit, based on a percentage of sales.
A co-owner of the second dispensary, in the former Riverbank Hotel at 6609 Third St. downtown, recently obtained permits for renovation and hopes to open in late August or early September, she said. Her company is Riverbank Cannabis Collective but the shop will be called Riverbank Wellness.
"I want to see the second one open and see how things go before we make any changes," said Councilwoman Leanne Jones Cruz. A few residents continued to oppose dispensaries, but all council members agreed with Jones Cruz and extended the ban on new dispensary applications until Dec. 23.
Recent petitions aimed at revoking the two permits failed because marijuana opponents did not submit enough valid signatures of Riverbank voters.
Garth Stapley: 209-578-2390