Following several hours of public testimony, Milpitas City Council directed City Staff to prepare regulations permanently banning all commercial cannabis activity within the city at its meeting on Tuesday evening. The City Council directed the development of permanent regulations to replace the current temporary moratorium, which is set to expire January 17, 2019. The motion was approved unanimously 4-0, with Councilmember Phan recusing himself.
The proposed regulations will be vetted through the Planning Commission and a special meeting will be scheduled in early December. Subsequent to the Planning Commission’s review, the City Council could consider proposed regulations at their December 18, 2018 and January 15, 2019 meetings.
There has been extensive dialogue on the topic of cannabis over the last two years before the City Council, Cannabis Subcommittee and Planning Commission. The City also held two facilitated community meetings and conducted public surveys in June 2018, which garnered over 500 responses. In relation to the public hearing on Tuesday, hundreds of e-mails were received from members of the public, including a community initiated petition with over 4,000 signatures, all of which were incorporated into the official record. In addition, over 100 speakers voiced their opinion at Tuesday’s hearing.
As background, on November 9, 2016, State Proposition 64 to legalize adult use of cannabis or marijuana was approved by California voters. On January 17, 2017, the City Council adopted Urgency Ordinance No. 291 to place a temporary moratorium on certain cannabis-related activities so as to allow time for the City Council and community to decide whether to allow cannabis activities in the city. The temporary moratorium was subsequently extended to the fullest extent allowed under law, prompting last night’s Council agenda item.
Notification of the special Planning Commission and future City Council meetings on the topic will be posted on the City’s website at www.milpitas.gov and on the City’s social media channels.