Prime 10 Tales of 2021, No. 9: Grownup-use retail hashish is probably going coming to Napa | Native Information

As the number of pharmacies in Napa continues to grow, the city of Napa will relocate early next year to allow retail cannabis sales to adults in the city.

It’s been five years since recreational cannabis use was legalized in California. That 2016 bill was known as Proposition 64, which was voted for by 61% of Napa County’s voters, compared with 57% of the state’s population as a whole.

But California cities have been slow to adopt cannabis companies. Most still don’t allow adult cannabis sales, including the city of Napa.

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The city currently only allows the medicinal sale of cannabis through a 2017 ordinance – the adult consumption ordinance would come into effect about a month after approval by the council.

This means that to purchase cannabis products at any of the city’s six pharmacies, customers will need a medically approved card for medical use. The required health insurance card has become less of a problem over time – patients don’t have to see a doctor in person and can get a card over the phone – but it still poses a hurdle for interested customers like tourists, retailers say.

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In February of this year, Napa City Council voted to include the Cannabis Sales Ordinance on a list of six policy goals that will have priority this year. The new permits for adult use – which will be available to businesses 30 days after final city council approval – would allow anyone aged 21 and over to purchase cannabis products from retailers with those permits.

Representatives of cannabis retailers said opening up sales to adults would significantly boost pharmacy business, which in turn would bring higher tax revenues for the city.

Harvest House of Cannabis, Napa’s first pharmacy, opened in late 2018. Since then, five more cannabis retailers have opened in the city, including Perfect Union and Abide this year.

Aimee Henry, an owner of Napa Cannabis Collective, said at a meeting of the town planning committee that she expects the company will have around 1,500 customers each month who are allowed adult use, compared to the 300-500 who are currently shopping in store in the same store timeframe.

Although a coalition of five of Napa’s current pharmacies has raised concerns that other pharmacies are moving quickly once adult use is approved, the council has not endorsed a proposed two-year moratorium on new adult cannabis retail applications.

Henry said at the planning committee meeting that the moratorium would benefit both the city and current retailers. Retailers could stabilize financially after facing economic hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic, she said. And the city would have time to decide how and whether the number of pharmacies allowed in the city should be limited.

“Our thought process has been to give time to the city, to give us time to catch up with the market, and that also allows for public comment and observation to give an idea of ​​whether you want to cap off later and how many should have that cap if you choose, ”said Henry.

A coalition letter to the city suggested that capping the number of pharmacies would affect any company’s ability to “balance budgets, operate sustainably, and give back to the Napa community.”

Most council members and planners said they did not support the proposed moratorium because it was against the spirit of competition. Two planning officers wanted to recommend a one-year moratorium to the city council, but did not have the votes to pass this proposal.

It remains to be seen whether adult applications will flock to the city next year. Regardless, the retailer coalition has seen allowing adult sales to be a significant tax base for the city and a contribution to Napa’s tourism industry.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated tourism and the households of local governments,” the letter reads. “Cannabis offers a unique opportunity to stabilize and develop tourism. People travel from all over the world to taste the fine Napa wines, and now it’s fine cannabis. “

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You can reach Edward Booth at (707) 256-2213.