Initiative wants to lift ban on cannabis retailers in Hermosa Beach

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by Dan Blackburn

Colton Chacker, a Hermosa Beach resident, applied to city officials last week for permission to circulate an initiative to legalize cannabis retail in the city. Chacker plans to begin collecting qualified signatures in mid-December.

The initiative is funded by the Economic Development Reform Coalition of Southern California, which has similar initiatives in neighboring Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, and El Segundo.

Chacker’s initiative would limit the number of commercial cannabis retailers in town to two and prohibit out-of-town cannabis retailers from doing business in Hermosa Beach. It establishes a points system for the selection of successful license applicants, provides alleviation of complaints, and requires entrepreneurs to develop a “neighborhood compatibility plan” to allow city officials additional control over activities.

It also states that the city “accepts no liability” for issuing a commercial cannabis business license.

Hermosa Beach Mayor Mike Detoy has asked his fellow councilors to take the matter up at their December 14th meeting when the panel is considering a draft cannabis regulation being prepared by staff. The council will also discuss “how the city can maintain its existing ban on retail cannabis,” according to a future agenda note.

Once the city releases the initiative’s official title and executive summary, proponents can begin looking for signatures from 10 percent, or approximately 1,400 of the city’s registered voters, required to qualify the initiative. If sufficient signatures are collected by May 2022, the initiative will qualify for the November 2022 vote, according to Los Angeles attorney George Yin, a proponent of the initiative.

Damian Martin, who works with Yin and drafted the Hermosa Beach Cannabis Regulation and Public Safety Measure, said this week, “I have helped shape beneficial and sensible local cannabis policy in Southern California, and my regulatory language has become the law of Landes in several cities, including Culver City, Pomona and El Monte. ” IS