The committee reviewed background and amendments on multiple cannabis bills targeting worker retention and training; creation of a city social equity license; and a “Cannabis Needs Assessment.”
The committee heard about a motion to create a cannabis security task force to address robberies in the area, amending wording and scope before recommending it to the full council.
Staff announced free retail security training and site assessments would be available before the board approved an expedited rulemaking and heard a call to prioritize particular cannabis “pioneers.”
The board received a high level briefing on cashless payment options for retailers, approved filing proposed social equity program rules, and heard several critical public comments.
After a week of multiple retail robberies resulting in deaths of staff and suspects, the board talked about the need for federal action and scheduled a roundtable talk with stakeholders.
Committee members heard positive testimony on a bill to increase penalties for cannabis retail robberies, and asked questions about the frequency of incidents and other solutions.
While cannabis retail would remain cash heavy if SB 5927 were enacted, senators unanimously voted for a one year sentencing enhancement for first and second degree robberies.
Director of Legislative Relations Chris Thompson described the status of cannabis-related bills, and the potential that cannabinoid request legislation would fail in part due to “misinformation.”
A bill to grant all medical cannabis patients protection from arrest received almost entirely positive testimony, along with complaints about homegrowing and cannabis scheduling policy.
With increasing incidents of cannabis retail robbery, legislation adding reporting requirements and sentencing enhancements was seen as helpful, but some argued it sidestepped bigger issues.