Hermosa Beach Cannabis Advisory Group forming in response to cannabis initiative
by Dan Blackburn
Hermosa Beach city officials are seeking “civic minded residents and business owners” to serve on a Cannabis Advisory Group, hoping to identify local opinion on the future of local, legal marijuana sales. The application deadline is Thursday, Jan. 13.
Resident Colton Chacker recently provided the city with a “notice of intent” to gather signatures for an initiative to legalize cannabis sales for the Nov. 2022 ballot. Chacker’s plan calls for establishment of no more than two brick-and-mortar outlets in the city. Such commerce has been banned in the city since 2017; municipalities have the legal authority to mandate prohibitions, despite a California law authorizing “compassionate” sales.
The Chacker initiative’s proponents have until June 18 to submit sufficient signatures – 10 percent of the city’s 15,303 electors – to qualify for the ballot.
Recently, the city council authorized formation of a nine-member committee to opine on whether Hermosa Beach should modify its current ban on cannabis businesses in the city. At that time, Council Member Justin Massey said the committee would be assigned “the task of advising us on the potential for a ballot measure for our consideration.” Members would serve for two months.
The council is thinking about drafting a “competing ordinance” that would better address the city’s needs. Voters could then approve or reject one or both.
The newly formed committee would be comprised of representatives of the Hermosa Beach City School District; Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau; and Beach Cities Health District; and six members from the community selected by City Manager Suja Lowenthal.
Officials said the committee members should be available to attend “four or five public meetings of at least two to three hours in length.”
Statements of interest from residents can be submitted to email@example.com, listing qualifications, experience, and opinions about cannabis, as well as contact information. A “work plan” for the committee can be found on the city’s website, hermosabeach.gov. ER