Benicia City Council Votes Against Cannabis Dispensaries Downtown

December 7, 2017 15:25 pm · 31 comments

The Benicia City Council has voted against allowing cannabis dispensaries in the downtown area.

The council heard extensive public comment on the issue late into Tuesday night before voting 4-0 against allowing downtown dispensaries.

Councilman Alan Schwartzman did not vote in order to avoid a conflict of interest because he lives in and has business property downtown, city officials said.

The council will discuss allowing cannabis sales, deliveries, laboratories, testing, personal and commercial cultivation and manufacturing in Benicia outside of the downtown area at its Dec. 19 meeting.

Benicia City Attorney Heather McLaughlin and Community Development Department Director said in a report to the Council that prohibiting cannabis use downtown is consistent with the Planning Commission’s recommendation and makes sense for several reasons.

They said downtown is the “front porch” of the city and is a tourist attraction and centerpiece of the city’s “Visit Benicia” campaign. Tinfow said she is pleased with the progress Benicia is making in developing comprehensive cannabis laws.

“I also am very proud and impressed with the tenor, tone, and civility of the public with their comments at (Tuesday’s) meeting, especially the many high school and middle school students who were so articulate with their remarks,” Tinfow said.

California voters passed Proposition 64, which legalizes recreational cannabis effective Jan. 1, 2018, when the state will begin issuing cannabis businesses licenses. Local jurisdictions in the state have been crafting their own ordinances regarding provisions for cannabis businesses in their areas.

Greg94528 December 7, 2017 at 4:19 PM

Good move Benicia! You won’t regret it. You have a nice Lowe downtown there and you don’t want it to go south. As much as the marijuana lobby and pot heads want to tell you, it is not wholesome like they say, and it is not like a glass of wine!

Always Right December 7, 2017 at 4:25 PM

Smart move, Benicia.

The marijuana business brings in bad elements. Period.

Wise city councils are not going to let their towns go “up in smoke”.

Jack Frost December 8, 2017 at 8:05 AM

Without any evidence of even anecdotal experience, I would agree with you that a marijuana store would attract “bad elements”. Makes common sense to me.
But with a mountains of anecdotal experience, I can confidently assert that liquor stores attracts drunk drivers, compulsive gamblers, and meth users. Large home improvement stores such as Home Depot attract legions of indigent aliens. Libraries attract the homeless and the insane. Counter-intuitively, police stations breed crime. And perhaps most bewildering, Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchens attract people that generally make poor life choices.
It seems to me an unequal standard is being applied to aspiring marijuana shops.

HolyMolyDoughnutShop December 8, 2017 at 8:50 AM

Jack Frost – I love it!

HolyMolyDoughnutShop December 8, 2017 at 8:51 AM

based on said argument, that would likely mean that Marijuana shops would attract, – people with money who leave very hungry, therefore boosting the local economy for small restaurants/food joints. Heck, they might even just go enjoy a movie and buy some overpriced popcorn and and icee without even considering if they are overpaying…

badge1104 December 7, 2017 at 4:35 PM

Correct decision. I know MJ is legal in California ( so is crime legal now it seems )
I am totally opposed to the stuff because everyone I know that uses it is truly getting stupid. they say they’re not. 🙁
You can almost see the expressions on peoples faces, and know they smoke pot. It is not a good thing.

HolyMolyDoughnutShop December 7, 2017 at 4:57 PM

I propose that any city that refuses to allow recreational MMJ shouldn’t be allowed to utilize a single penny from tax proceeds of the cannabis.

CPT Obvious December 7, 2017 at 6:17 PM

If so than everyone who doesn’t pay Federal taxes (roughly 45% of the populace) shouldn’t be allowed to benefit from a single penny of those taxes.

HolyMolyDoughnutShop December 8, 2017 at 8:33 AM

@CPT Obvious – I have absolutely no problem with people not receiving benefits if they don’t pay Federal taxes.

NoMoreFreeRide December 7, 2017 at 5:10 PM

Very smart!

KingOfC December 7, 2017 at 5:29 PM


Concord Res December 7, 2017 at 5:38 PM

So funny they sell pot on 1st street guess the city wants to pretend it doesn’t happen.

Abbie R. December 7, 2017 at 6:24 PM

Friends and Family Members of the World War II Generation always used to laugh when I said “I am going to Benicia”. The current city council has seen to it that there will be no more laughing.

Dr. Jellyfinger December 7, 2017 at 11:51 PM

Are you referring to Benicia’s old reputation as being a destination for those seeking the company of a lady of the evening?

TIFOKCIS December 7, 2017 at 6:31 PM


Amy December 7, 2017 at 7:32 PM

Isn’t is true that Concord’s new Mayor Edi Birsen is seriously considering putting marijuana dispensaries in Concord? I have read previous posts about that. I hope it never happens and Concord puts families first.

The Realist December 8, 2017 at 7:04 AM

Concord puts developer $$$ first. If the dispensaries grease the right palms, they too can push through whatever they want from the council. Families in Concord come in a distant fourth in priorities to our elected officials.

CSS December 7, 2017 at 8:13 PM


Anonymous December 7, 2017 at 8:24 PM

I’m all for people who want to smoke it,eat it or whatever. Yet I think Benicia is smart!

Anonymous December 7, 2017 at 9:21 PM

Edi seems to think that Concord is ready to act like Berkeley. If he pushes his left wing foolishness and degrades our city I’ll help recall him. That includes pot sales

Always Right December 8, 2017 at 9:45 AM

Amen to that. Edi needs to change course and stop representing only the far left agenda. Concord is not Berkeley. We want less drugs, crime, and homelessness in our town, not more.

Puffandstuff December 7, 2017 at 9:34 PM

Anyone know what’s Martinez stance?

Pffff December 8, 2017 at 6:31 AM

Awesome Move Guys!You should Definitely just keep your downtown Filled with Crapy Dive Bars!They cause Zero Problems.

cd December 8, 2017 at 6:45 AM

smart move… keep crime lower and other rif raf away.

Mika December 8, 2017 at 7:00 AM

I think many opponents would be shocked to know how many of their neighbors, friends, coworkers, etc., engage in cannabis. As long as alcohol, the worst drug of all, is legal, who cares about smoking weed.

Vandy December 8, 2017 at 7:01 AM

A dying gasp of an already won culture war. Boo hoo dont want to see happy high people, then go move out of CA. Mary Jane is here to stay. Its the will of the people. Feds will legalize it too when Dems get back in control.

Lawyer1975 December 8, 2017 at 8:04 AM

I’ve always bought my weed from people in Benicia, (Live in Pleasant Hill). There is A LOT of illegal marijuana in that Town. I guess pretending it doesn’t exist works for people, although now that weed will be illegal, a lot of those operations will probably switch to making meth. Good move Benicia 😎

Elvis December 8, 2017 at 10:04 AM

Surprising given its reputation historically, but good for them. I don’t think Concord is the place for cannibas dispenseries, either. See you in federal prison @Vandy.

Elvis December 8, 2017 at 10:07 AM

Just because it is now legal recreationally in CA doesn’t mean your employer has to put up with stoners on the job,

It's Me December 8, 2017 at 10:58 AM

Yea, Benicia is quite the tourist attraction. Front porch, they say? More like that hole in the middle of the back yard that the dog keeps digging up.

Another Anon December 8, 2017 at 5:09 PM

Reading these responses to this article illustrates how decades of propaganda and brainwashing really does work. It’s ok to drag your feet because no matter what you do… we reached the tipping point… and this prohibition on cannabis is coming to an end. You had your chance to stop cannabis but all you did was lock people up and lie to a few generations about how cannabis and heroin were the same while peddling legal forms of death by prescription. You can now stop being the puppets of those who profited from schedule 1 cannabis. Check with the banks… they still need puppets who will champion them on their next taxpayer-funded bailout.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: