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Salinas City Council decides to not change cannabis ordinance

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV)- The City of Salinas cannabis ordinance won’t see any changes after all. On Tuesday night, Salinas City Council voted unanimously to not change the current ordinance.

Prior to the meeting, Salinas Councilmember Orlando Osornio explained to KION, the current state of cannabis in Salinas.

“Throughout the last couple of years, I believe that the numbers have actually gone down in revenue that we've been getting for the City of Salinas. So again, that's where we have to look at what it is that we are collecting," Osornio said.

Some of those proposed changes the council decided against include: reducing the buffer distance between dispensaries and places like schools and religious institutions, combining dispensary and delivery business types for permitting and the ability for the cannabis subcommittee to approve a dispensary in certain non-state regulated buffer areas.

Mike Bitar is the Founder and CEO or Grupo Flor, which runs a dispensary in Salinas and believes those changes could do more harm than good.

“The thing is, it's going to cannibalize the existing industry that we have in Salinas and in Monterey County itself," Bitar said.

Those during public comment Tuesday night, were overwhelmingly against the proposed changes. Many city council members also criticized the idea.

“What a waste of time for the subcommittee. Think all the time we spent, I think the community's spoken and I think we should listen," Councilmember Steve McShane.

Ultimately, the city council not only dropped the proposed changes, but also disbanded the city’s cannabis subcommittee all together.

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Austin Castro

Reporter for KION News Channel 46.


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