Antioch City Council Approves Maps to Allow Marijuana Business into City

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During the May 22 Antioch City Council meeting, by way of a 3-2 vote, the City has opened the door to potentially allowing marijuana businesses into two parts of the City.

After a lengthy discussion, the Council approved two overlay maps where businesses could apply for a conditional use permit which the council would have to approve. The two areas are in Verne Roberts Circle near Costco. The other is along Wilbur between A Street to the Antioch Bridge.

The council did not take up what types of marijuana business would be allowed from dispensary to manufacturing, that conversation will come at a future meeting, the action simply approved the areas where businesses could potentially operate.

Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks expressed concerns saying the police department has spoken to the planning commission a number of times.

“From a law enforcement standpoint, we have a difficult time, especially on the retail side of the cannabis business,” said Brooks. “That is what we deal with on a regular basis and in illegal context… we do see the negative consequences of marijuana and other drugs and so from a police department standpoint we see this as a taxing business on our resources.”

Brooks highlighted how Antioch has the lowest per capita police department staffing.

“I struggled to provide adequate law enforcement services to our community with the staffing that I have and if we bring businesses in that could potentially increase violent crime. And we’re talking about an all cash business that has historically been illegal in the past,” explained Brooks. “We have pizza delivery drivers who were robbed for a pizza and a small amount of cash. You bring someone out there with a large amount of cannabis and potentially a large amount of money that just could increase their likelihood of becoming a victim of a robbery. And the same goes for dispensary’s as well. So those are some of the concerns that we have.”

Councilmember Lori Ogorchock came out against this.

“It’s funny because everybody that spoke tonight, there’s not been one person in favor of this,” said Ogorchock. “I’ve been here for now almost four years and we’ve always seen or most times seeing somebody pro and against, but this time it’s definitely against this. There has been nobody for the pro side of this.”

She continued.

“I’m not for these maps at all because I don’t want it here,” said Ogorchock. “Putting something over by Verne Robert Circle is just, that just can’t happen. That’s, that’s definitely not a good area. And then going all the way in on Wilbur Avenue. You’ve got a soccer field, baseball park out there, the children out there all the time. So that’s definitely not a good area. There’s really not a good area to be honest.”

Ogorchock suggested if they go ahead with maps, they selected the two lot over by LMC that the City owns but she still would not vote for it.

“I understand that people say that we voted for it. People in Antioch did vote for it. I think it was 64 percent, but we as to city council still can say no to this. We can still be the leaders that we should be and still say no. What’s good for our city,” said Ogorchock. “That’s my thought. Um, and that we should be the only city…. we could be the city out of all the cities to say no. We don’t have to say yes. We can be the one that says no, not in our town.”

Councilman Tony Tiscareno explained he believed in the concept of medical marijuana believes that the majority of California is in the same, same mindset.

“I have always stated personally, I don’t condone it. I don’t like it. I don’t want it near me, but I can’t speak for Tony Tiscareno, I speak for a majority of voters that voted for this process.” Explained Tiscareno who also said they may not have had advocates tonight, but have had them throughout the workshops.

Tiscareno stated he was open to medical marijuana in certain parts of the city

“I am open minded to medical and certain areas in Antioch and reason why I’m opening mine is because we have a lot of residents in the city of Antioch Go to other cities to purchase and bring it back home. So if that’s a revenue source that’s missing,” said Tiscareno. “You’re talking about somebody paying their money to another city in those tax dollars are going to that city and bring it back to the city of Antioch and they’re gonna and you’re gonna smell it here anyway, because, you know the state law legalizing marijuana in California, theoretically every single household can grow with six plants if they really wanted to. So it’s here and it’s not going to go away. So if we have some kind of control, and that’s what we’re talking about today is how we control what we want to do in the city of Antioch, whether we let it just go off and go wild or we have some kind of regulation.”

Mayo Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe made the argument that you could tie a similar issue of crime to banks and any business when compared to marijuana.

Mayor Sean Wright stated that when this first came out, he agreed with Ogorchock but went and did his research by visiting facilities.

“I looked at it and then came to find out that this whole thing about medical versus adult use is just a farce,” said Wright as he explained they took it from one pile to another. “So, I came to realize that this whole argument that will just allow medical is, is to make people feel good that the actual drug you’re taking is the same one way or the other. There are doctors that will give anybody a medical marijuana card. So, if you’re gonna legalize it, legalize it.”

Wright further highlighted problems in the community such as grow houses where he hoped it would stay illegal while adding he hopes that with legalization further cultivation in rentals goes down.

“The black market is not going to be dented, you cannot compete, compete in illegal a market with a black market,” said Wright. “There are still going to be a black market, a legalizing it and selling it as going to give some people that don’t want to buy and the black market and opportunity to go somewhere where they can buy it without going to the black market. The black market will still be there. You cannot go and require all of the extra things that were required were legalized market. And some of them, the black market price.”

Wright highlighted how the economic commission did a wonderful job, even though many of them do not support marijuana, saying their suggestion was that if we were going to allow anything that would be lab testing and manufacturing, that we would stay away from the retail market.

“I sat down with our chief of police and asked, and he said very strongly, he suggested that we stay away from the retail market. Do you need a delivery sales? He said that from the standpoint of we don’t have our full cops, we don’t have 104 cops that we want and we’re trying to get there, but even at 104, our per capita cost basis is low and adding that stress to them at this time I think is unfair,” said Wright. “So based on based on those things, if we were to have an overlay district that had allowed for laboratory and manufacturing.  I think there are some scientific jobs that we need in our community. There are some opportunities that would be without allowing for cultivation, retail or delivery, and that’s kind of where I I’m falling is at that point.

Ogorchock again stated her position she was against this and they could still say no before the deadline hits and the state would takeover.

“I’ve got a stance and I feel strongly about my stance. My stance is a no, I’ve got. I’ve been educated on this. I’ve done the homework and I don’t. I don’t take it personally,” said Ogorchock explaining how its not just one home that will smell it or feel the effects, but entire neighborhoods from drift smoke. “It’s going to happen in our backyards, not just your backyard, but the five of us backyard. So I’m fighting for our backyards. We don’t have to have it here. We don’t have to. We can say no, we’re the polysorbate policymakers. We still have the right to say no, not in our town”

Thorpe explained he had a very strict view on marijuana and did not vote for Prop 64 but through this process he came to learn that there is no science or research that connects marijuana as a gateway drug.

“I am still torn,” said Thorpe. “So I’m kind of at the pleasure of the council and in kind of coming up with a consensus as to which direction we want to go.”

Tiscareno explained he understands the impact but that its already in the city with people able to grow 6-plants and people can smell it depending on where people choose to smoke it on their property.

“It’s something that we have to deal with on a day to day basis. And that’s not just me, it’s everybody,” said Tiscareno. “So I’m talking apples and oranges in that respect because we’re looking at revenue sources and businesses. I think all of us are kind of open minded to that testing labs or whatever the case may be in certain designated areas. You might as well utilize what you can because of something that’s already been legalized and we have an opportunity to regulate that. The only reason why I’ve been an advocate for medical marijuana dispensaries, yeah, it’s easier to get a medical card, but there are folks that are in dire need that live by the fact that they feel a lot better than using the oils or medical marijuana more so than opioids.”

Tiscareno highlighted how by having dispensary’s in certain parts of the city it could bring revenue to Antioch.

City staff stated this was a “maybe ordinance” and that “maybe you could operate a business in Antioch because it’s a use permit from the City Council—which gives people the opportunity to apply and nobody’s guaranteed a permit.

Ebbs explained,” So this gives someone the ability to apply for their cannabis business for a use permit in the city council can take them one at a time. Nobody’s guaranteed anything. We may never get a, an application for a dispensary. We may never get one for a lab, but if we do, you’ll be in a position to look at that so that there’s not the pressure tonight to figure out of all the half dozen different types of cannabis businesses which are right, which are wrong. What we’d really like to see is something on the books by July 31st deadline.”

Mayor Wright explained he understood that, but once its open and retail is apart of that they will get a dispensary and they have an opportunity to set the directions tonight. He was looking to prohibit the retail.

Ebbs continued saying the City could be like Pittsburg and use the word “prohibit” when it comes to retail but allow all other uses.

Both Thorpe and Tiscareno stated they wanted to focus on the overlap maps tonight then at a future meeting figure out what they would approve or not approve before they prohibit anything.

Wright said what he was willing to do was go over the overlay tonight and have retail cannabis retail prohibited but that was only his opinion. Ogorchock agreed asking them to prohibit cannabis retail.

Overview of council stances:

  • Wright – okay with laboratory and manufacturing but prohibit retail.
  • Ogorchock – against all forms, wants it prohibited
  • Tiscareno – willing to go with medical marijuana retail
  • Wilson – agrees with medical and testing marijuana, stops short on retail due to lack of information.
  • Thorpe – didn’t give an opinion other than they were making decisions based on hypothetical and not information.

The council then went back to the map overlays.

Ogorchock stated that the overlay including Costco should be “flat out off the table” because of the Costco, car dealerships and possibly a care center for the homeless saying she didn’t believe that was an appropriate area.

Tiscareno stated he that the Costco area was already a business park with many different kinds of businesses while his preference was not to place a dispensary near a school or church and somewhere it could be discreet.

Ebbs said they already have a state law where they have to be 600 feet from a school where you extended that to be school city park and residential zone..

Ogorchock made a motion to say “no” to everything which did not get a second.

Tiscareno then made a motion to approve the overlay map (as is) with no modifications.

Ogorchock asked Tiscareno to change his motion to remove the overlap map that included Verne Roberts which Tiscareno declined.

The motion passed 3-2 with Thorpe, Tiscareno and Wilson supporting with Wright and Ogorchock dissenting.


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36 COMMENTS

  1. With ALL the problems Antioch has the council decided to add Marijuana shops? Are you serious? Anyone want to bet how long it will take before the shops are robbed and someone murdered?

    I guess this council learned nothing from the ignorance of past councils who allow smoke shops that immediately began to sell bongs and other drug paraphernalia.

    Just when you think the Antioch City Council can’t be this stupid they prove you wrong!!!

    • Marijuana consumers deserve and demand equal rights and protections under our laws that are currently afforded to the drinkers of far more dangerous and deadly, yet perfectly legal, widely accepted, endlessly advertised and even glorified as a national pastime, alcohol.

      Plain and simple!

      Legalize Nationwide!

      Fear of Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is unfounded. Not based on any science or fact whatsoever. So please prohibitionists, we beg you to give your scare tactics, “Conspiracy Theories” and “Doomsday Scenarios” over the inevitable Legalization of Marijuana Nationwide a rest. Nobody is buying them anymore these days. Okay?

      Furthermore, if all prohibitionists get when they look into that nice, big and shiny, crystal ball of theirs, while wondering about the future of marijuana legalization, is horror, doom, and despair, well then I suggest they return that thing as quickly as possible and reclaim the money they shelled out for it, since it’s obviously defective.

      The prohibition of marijuana has not decreased the supply nor the demand for marijuana at all. Not one single iota, and it never will. Just a huge and complete waste of our tax dollars to continue criminalizing citizens for choosing a natural, non-toxic, relatively benign plant proven to be much safer than alcohol.

      If prohibitionists are going to take it upon themselves to worry about “saving us all” from ourselves, then they need to start with the drug that causes more death and destruction than every other drug in the world COMBINED, which is alcohol!

      Why do prohibitionists feel the continued need to vilify and demonize marijuana when they could more wisely focus their efforts on a real, proven killer, alcohol, which again causes more destruction, violence, and death than all other drugs, COMBINED?

      Prohibitionists really should get their priorities straight and/or practice a little live and let live. They’ll live longer, happier, and healthier, with a lot less stress if they refrain from being bent on trying to control others through Draconian Marijuana Laws.

      • Looking forward to your criminal trial when you arrested for vehicular manslaughter after killing someone.

    • They are not BONGS. They are water pipes. All I know is 64% of the voters voted for this. It’s not about your personal interests or feelings on the subject. This is a democracy. How many have given their life for that right? We vote because that is what a democracy does. And how much money did it cost to have that on the ballet? Wasted money? More?

    • Marijuana, canabis, Mary Jane, who cares what you call it. It’s all the same when the bullets start flying and people are dying!

      • What we certainly don’t need are anymore people who feel justified in appointing themselves to be self-deputized morality police.

        We are very capable of choosing for ourselves if we want to consume Marijuana, a far less dangerous choice over alcohol, and we definitely don’t need anyone dictating how we live our own lives.

        We can’t lock up everyone who does things prohibitionists don’t personally approve of.

        Legalize Nationwide!

        “Marijuana is 114 times safer than drinking alcohol”

        http://rt.com/usa/234903-marijuana-safer-alcohol-deadly/

        “Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say”

        “Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say New study: We should stop fighting marijuana legalization and focus on alcohol and tobacco instead By Christopher Ingraham February 23

        Compared with other recreational drugs — including alcohol — marijuana may be even safer than previously thought. And researchers may be systematically underestimating risks associated with alcohol use.

        Those are the top-line findings of recent research published in the journal Scientific Reports, a subsidiary of Nature. Researchers sought to quantify the risk of death associated with the use of a variety of commonly used substances. They found that at the level of individual use, alcohol was the deadliest substance, followed by heroin and cocaine.”

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/02/23/marijuana-may-be-even-safer-than-previously-thought-researchers-say/

        “The report discovered that marijuana is 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Researchers were able to determine this by comparing the lethal doses with the amount of typical use. Through this approach, marijuana had the lowest mortality risk to users out of all the drugs they studied. In fact—because the numbers were crossed with typical daily use—marijuana is the only drug that tested as “low risk.”

        http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2015/02/scientific-reports-weed-114-safer-alcohol

          • “Ghetto City” you’re a joke dude. Get off your rocking chair and put the scarf you’re knitting down. It’s 2018 and your Nancy Reagan scare tactics don’t work anymore, especially for the educated citizens. Prohibition doesn’t work and never has. Move to Turkey or Saudi Arabia if you want strict no fun, or go to church if you’re so scared to live.

          • @Ghetto City, yet we have liquor stores every mile or so in town. You’re driving safety argument has zero merit. Congratulations, you played yourself.

  2. My office has already received emails from the California State Cannabis Bureau as they receive requests for permits to operate in the City of Antioch. I had to remind them of the moratorium in Antioch, of which they already have a copy. With the council action, I can expect to be hearing from them again when the ordinance goes into effect.

    • Oh yes! We really need more STONERS here! Let’s have more drugged out people getting on our roads and killing our residents! How many died thus far from smoking and ingesting this crap? A woman and two children died in a horrific crash two weeks ago thanks to a marijuana-impaired driver. Before that, a CHP officer and 4 other people lost their lives on our freeways from a STONER! They can call themselves “cannabis bureau” of anything else. They are nothing but DOPERS and a danger to our children.

      • Dawn, enough with the lame and outdated scare tactics. How many car crashes do we see every day? With your logic, old age is wayyyyy more dangerous than cannabis behind the wheel. Especially alcohol! CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION. 2 cherry picked cases means a plant used for THOUSANDS of years is automatically unsafe? Get real and grow up. This “crap” is MEDICINE for millions of people worldwide and helps with afflictions that the common man experiences on the daily.

  3. Sometimes I hold out hope that this town will somehow get better, but then I read these articles and realize that this sh ithole town has no fu cking hope.

  4. Would the proximity to the Social Security office be a problem here? That’s a fairly vulnerable population moving in and out on a daily basis, some elderly, some disabled, and they’d look like targets for someone who’s in the general vicinity looking for easy opportunities. Robberies are a fact of life at those businesses, no question about it.

  5. Again, anther greedy move by the city of Antioch to collect tax dollars. This is how Antioch got I to the trouble they are in now. Listen to your police chief and ignore the dollar signs. This will tax the police department with more calls for service and they are already unable to handle what they have now. Marijuana
    is a violatent business.

    • My son was a sheriff and we need to listen to our police chief. This is an ugly mess dangerous stuff we are walking in to.

  6. What happend to democracy? The people who live here voted it in so whats up with this Ogar-chalk? She knows better than the majority? SMH! I cant stand people like that, maybe she should go hang out by the methodone clinic and observe that its with in proximity to an elementary school and residential neighborhoods! Again SMH! I would much rather have a bunch of people at a dispensary getting some organic medical marijuana tgen a bunch of dopesick opiod attics in my town. No offense to heroin attics but its not a very pleasent addiction! I know who im voting against next election!

  7. They should have retail somewhere in Contra Costa County, maybe not Antioch because of the high crime we already have. But for you paranoid baby boomers to downright bad-mouth cannabis as a whole– you’re standing in the way of progress. Do some research, stop cherry picking random violent crimes from idiots who were violent anyways. There’s risks and benefits to any business enterprise. Have hope.

  8. Regulate, regulate, regulate. Require heavy security, gates, fencing, guards, lighting, no minors, metal detectors for guns, retail as part of laboratory by appointment

  9. As with any type of new introduction of old contraband that has the opportunity to help and assist those that would like the relief of chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, rhmotoid arthritis, cancer, neurological disorders, senior transitioning; ptsd, etc at a cost that is reasonable and not further lining the pockets of Big Box Pharmaceutical/Corporations. You are responsible to raise and educate your household of the dangers of over-excess. The City and locals should not be persecuted because you don’t know how to say “no” to your over-privileged, lazy no ambition, still living at home, quick gratification only wanting high tech and playing independent but not living it – adult/children. It takes a Village and a Community to bring awareness and monitor those that are willing to put at risk – this opportunity to mold, construct and support Local Entrepreneurs in creating “business roots” on family recipes that have been handed down for generations. So we hire Consultants from Colorado; we start baby steps and do a section in Antioch; keep it in the Health & Wellness Medical arena, for now. Each city doing a section: Production – Pittsburg, Mobiles – Oakley & Concord; Extraction & Retail – Antioch; Cultivation – Byron. Hire Texas style Rangers to patrol the underground and outlaws. Keep it in a segregated area (Medical/Professional District (Sunset Lane – Methadone alley). That way the PD and Health Officials will still be doing what they are already patrolling due to that area being the only place in CCC. Think Medieval Japan Geisha District – one arena, better tax and patrol. All those empty offices in that 3 block radius now can be joined together to create the first Holistic Alternative Wellness for Cannabis Options. WE ARE WILLING TO PROVIDE INTEL, SUPPORT AND MARKET DATA TO HELP SUBSTANTIATE HOW THIS WILL MAKE MORE BANG FOR THE BUCK. We are the Few, the Proud, the Brave generational baby-boomers, generation x, disguised Woodstock-base professionals who will add a voice to this new era……..Greenhouse Services/Solutions and more…

  10. One of the most valued property for a large manufacturer to bring business and tax dollars is located in the new marijuana zone. We were lucky by Volkswagon losing the lawsuit on emissions violations causing a massive recall. The recall opened up the use of the property to move these banned and recalled vehicles oversea. The property has a deep water port allowing large container ship to load these cars for shipping overseas. But once this is completed, then what are we to do with this property. A marijuana shop on the same road will discourage a business from coming here. What is this council thinking. Or are they lining pockets for the short term.

  11. Thank you Mayor Wright and Councilwoman Ogorchock for bringing some common sense into the discussion. The mayor is right, this whole cannabis and marijuana discussion is a farce because there is no difference from getting high or medical. it’s the same thing.

    If Tiscareno is so focused on money, which is apparently is his only focus and not unintended consequences, then why doesn’t he work on bringing in casinos and brothels to Antioch? Those make good money and would bring in a ton of revenue for the City. Where do you draw the line if cannabis and marijuana is now allowed? I am fine with medical, which I think 99% of people are but they needed to draw a hard line.

    Do any of these council people even look at the number of vehicle crashes that are happening with legalized marijuana? These people don’t think.

    • Bill, have you even for 1 second, considered that the people causing accidents are just bad drivers? SMH. Might as well advocate for eugenics. And we already have casinos in Antioch, dunce.

  12. Brett & Barbara:

    It’s quite apparent both of you are suffering from the after effects of the joint you smoked this morning 🤣

    I just love how the liberal mind doesn’t work!!!!

  13. Brett & Barbara:

    It’s quite apparent both of you are suffering from the after effects of the joint you smoked this morning 🤣

  14. This is about Urban Planning to reduce problems and violence, about designing the environment and landscape to control it rather than having it control us. We’re all either going to be in act or react mode, and where we decide to place problematic businesses is a part of that planning.

    Most of us realize that dispensaries are coming at some point, and we need rational thought to minimize the inevitable negative consequences. Placement near areas where law enforcement (on- or off-duty) is already concentrated, away from general civilian populations probably makes more sense.

    What doesn’t make sense is a level of discourse where there’s an insistence that anyone who’s for control and regulation is “afraid of living,” should “go to church,” (where, you know, they’re all afraid of living) or “go back to their knitting.” Wrong on all counts. It’s pretty clear there that where ignorance is concerned, the shoe’s pretty much on the other foot.

    • Actually church was invented because people were afraid of death and still are. But I think what he meant was the colloquial saying, “If you’re scared go to church.” And those people aren’t for control, regulation, legalization or decriminalization, but I’m sure they are for downright prohibition. They must’ve never stepped foot in another county to see how the market is.

  15. The Antioch city Council appears superstitious and plagued with paranoia. The individual members’ backward leaning focus is based on many tidbits of misinformation, myths that leave those who invest in their pontifications bereft of knowledge. Wherever cannibus is concerned, will we be left stoned on their personal bias and baked in their belittlements? Give the Antioch community and our adults the benifit of the doubt and quit assuming we are all criminals and wasteoids. A little cannabis like a few sips of fine wine could compliment our local culture and chill. Loosen up Lori.

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