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Council: No cannabis around Turlock

POSTED January 23, 2018 11:16 p.m.

All cannabis operations in — and around — Turlock are now prohibited following City Council action on Tuesday.

The Turlock City Council voted to deny approval to three cannabis operations hoping to open near Turlock on county land. The Council also adopted a policy to deny approval to any future cannabis-related enterprise within Turlock’s sphere of influence.

Stanislaus County adopted a commercial cannabis ordinance in December 2017 within county-governed areas, but the ordinance also requires city approval for any application for commercial cannabis activities located either within a city’s adopted sphere of influence (the area directly outside of a city’s limits) or within a ½-mile radius outside of the sphere when that city has an ordinance banning such activities. The Turlock City Council voted to ban all commercial cannabis activities in the City limits in January 2017, and has not changed the ordinance since.

On Tuesday, the Council considered three permit requests within Turlock’s sphere of influence. Nate Tremble and Byron Bogard applied to operate a small-scale cannabis cultivation in the 1200 block of East Greenway Avenue through their company, Bynate Inc. Genobeva Maciel also applied for a permit to cultivate cannabis on two adjacent properties on East Linwood Avenue.

“I would hope that you guys would take this issue and put a hold on it and really understand the issue and talk with some of the people involved, including some of the members of the community,” said Bogard, who went on to appeal to the Council to come up with some kind of development agreement with cannabis cultivation operations.

Turlock resident Darren Silva addressed the Council on Tuesday and asked the City to reconsider allowing cannabis grows and dispensaries. Silva, who owns a dispensary in Modesto and a cannabis grow operation in Patterson, invited the Council members to visit his operations and see how the tax income will benefit those communities.

“You can maybe structure development agreements with these individuals who are here today … and put in a benefit for the police services,” said Silva.

Despite Bogard and Silva’s comments, the Council voted 4-0, with Councilman Gil Esquer abstaining, to adopt the policy denying cannabis operations.

Before the vote, Councilman Bill DeHart stated that he is categorically against any cannabis activities in Turlock or its sphere of influence and related a personal story about his brother.

“I got all the education I needed about marijuana about 1981 when I dropped my brother off at the VA hospital in Palo Alto. I don’t need any further education about marijuana,” said DeHart.

Other requests that are nearby but will not be considered by the City Council since they are not within Turlock’s sphere of influence include applications for locations on East Hatch Road in Hughson, North Mitchell Road in Turlock, Geer Road near Sante Fe Avenue, Swanson Road in Denair, Lyon Road in Hughson, South Faith Home Road in Turlock and Verduga Road in Hughson.

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