Mike Harris | Ventura County Star | Updated February 12, 2021
Commercial cannabis businesses will apparently soon be allowed in Ventura.
The Ventura City Council this week voted 4-2 to introduce two ordinances to permit a finite number of them. The ordinances are scheduled to be adopted by the council at its Feb. 22 meeting.
“I’ve always contended that if somebody wants to do something, making it illegal adds to the mystique,” first-term City Councilman Doug Halter said at Monday night’s council meeting. “So, with that said, I feel that what we don’t legalize, will happen.
“It will just happen without being regulated and without being taxed,” he said. ” … So, I would want us to have a legal, regulated access to a drug that has become in my lifetime almost as common as alcohol.”
The council’s 4-2 vote included adopting a resolution establishing the maximum number of commercial cannabis businesses in the city -five retail locations and 10 industrial locations – with 600-feet buffers around elementary, middle, and high schools, city officials said.
The resolution contained an amendment added to it on a 5-1 council vote. The amendment in part establishes that a cannabis business that applies to the city be penalized one point in an evaluation scoring system if it is on a walking route to a school that tends to have a lot of student foot traffic, Assistant City Attorney Megan Lorenzen said Thursday.
Voting to introduce the ordinances and adopt the resolution were Halter and fellow council members Lorrie Brown, Jim Friedman and Joe Schroeder. Voting against were Mayor Sofia Rubalcava and council member Mike Johnson.
Johnson was the lone no vote on adding the amendment to the resolution.
Currently, the city’s zoning ordinance prohibits commercial cannabis uses, except for deliveries, which the state requires cities to…