Hollister City Council Approves Medical Cannabis Dispensary

After several twists and turns along the road to approval, Hollister finally has its first medical cannabis dispensary as of the June 4 city council meeting. The vote went amazingly smooth, considering Councilman Jim Gillio was absent and Councilman Karson Klauer had recused himself. That left three city leaders to vote: Mayor Ignacio Velazquez, Vice Mayor Mickie Luna, and Councilman Ray Friend.

Klauer told BenitoLink by text that he recused himself on advice of legal counsel.

“It goes all the way back to the original selection process a little over a year ago,” Klauer wrote. “There was a dispensary application on Industrial Drive that I had a conflict of interest with because of the property my family member owned.”

Without a word of discussion from the dais, the three council members voted unanimously to approve the resolution to grant Monterey Bay Alternative Medicine a conditional cannabis use permit and development agreement to operate a dispensary at 773 San Felipe Road in Hollister.

The fast-moving agenda item was in stark contrast to past times at bat for cannabis aspirants who hoped to secure one of the two medical marijuana dispensary permits within city limits. On Aug. 14, 2017, besides Monterey Bay Alternative Medicine, five other cannabis companies—Haven, Higher Level of Care, Layla’s Landing, Purple Cross Rx, and Traditional Roots—made their pitches to the council. Numerous cannabis business on the supply chain side of the industry have received city approval since then.

The June 4 approval allows Monterey Bay Alternative Medicine to move ahead in obtaining necessary permits to establish a dispensary and apply for site and architecture review through the Hollister Planning Commission. The approval will expire, though, if it has not been activated by May 2019.

The dispensary is expected to be 2,160 square feet. Its design meets all sensitive-use restrictions under the Hollister Municipal Code. No residents or

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