So…remember how a bunch of Rio Dell City Councillors were upset that they couldn’t force a commercial cannabis ordinance through the City Council? And how they widely broadcast their desire to have the public vote on such an ordinance because the public deserved a say in the future of their city?
Well, turns out that ensuring the people had a voice in the decision to welcome commercial cannabis into the City wasn’t what they were concerned about at all.
Nope, they just wanted to slam an ordinance through the pipe that is more beneficial to the folks who apparently have their ear.
So, rather than let the ordinance go to a vote – which was the previously stated goal of those in favor of the ordinance – Rio Dell now gets a rail-roaded cannabis ordinance without the say-so of the people who live there.
Admittedly, the ordinance’s currently proposed form differs drastically from the previous version, and now “prohibits all marijuana dispensaries from opening in city limits, prohibits all outdoor growing in city limit and the saw mill, requires businesses to eliminate all associated odors from escaping their buildings and causing a nuisance to neighbors, requires employees to wear safety gear and requires businesses to have security cameras and alarms.”
Councilmember Debra Garnes celebrated how well she brow-beat the rest of the Council into their miraculous reversal, saying that “What we’re really talking about is businesses that want to invest in our city.” Of course, the question of who actually wants those businesses to invest will be left up to interpretation, as, again, the Council did a complete about-face on cannabis in Rio Dell without allowing City residents the opportunity to vote on it. (Let’s add here that a vote on the ordinance is precisely what Garnes advocated for in the really whiny op-ed she published on LoCO.)
Kevin Caldwell, the lackey of would-be pot impresario Dennis Wendt, chimed in too, saying “If approved, the consensus of the council was to limit all marijuana activities to north of the river.” Which might come as a bummer to his friend Dennis Wendt, who was very keen to develop some of the old sawmill into a big ol’ cannabis facility. (Cannery, anyone?)
Here’s a link to the Times Standard Article that originally ran the story:
And here are some links to previously ran THC goodness that delve into the travails of Rio Dell’s “people first” City Council.