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Paso Robles residents debate city's marijuana laws

Posted at 10:31 PM, Aug 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-19 02:39:53-04

The City of Paso Robles held its first public discussion on the possibility of allowing marijuana dispensaries on Thursday night.

Dozens of people packed into the city council chambers to voice their opinions for and against marijuana.

“Weed and wine, doesn’t that sound good together? I could imagine myself sipping our local grapes while smoking our local weed,” said Camille Katz who spoke at the meeting.

Community members in Paso Robles came together to voice their opinions on potential changes to the city’s marijuana ordinance with some speaking out in favor of allowing recreational delivery and storefronts in the city.

“I’m a working professional, I have children. I’m a better mom because I’m able to manage my anxiety because of this thing that mother earth gave us,” said Katz.

“I would really encourage the council to look at data behind this and not make any decision based on fear, stigma or personal beliefs. I think it’s definitely time to welcome cannabis into Paso Robles,” said another woman who spoke at the meeting.

“What I would encourage the city council to do is try to prioritize giving the licenses to our local people, not to the corporations,” added a third woman.

Others, voiced their concerns about allowing marijuana into the city.

“We do not need to open up the door to additional access to what is a very powerful drug,” said one man in attendance.

“When people say that drugs are the answer to anxiety and depression, I can tell you for sure that there are better answers out there,” said another woman who spoke out against marijuana.

Others aren’t necessarily against weed, but hope to keep dispensaries away from the downtown area.

“I’m not on a crusade against marijuana, I’m just on a crusade to keep the downtown area special and charming,” said Linda Healy.

The City of Paso Robles currently only allows for medicinal deliveries.

In July, the city council directed staff to look into recreational delivery, and the possibility of bringing storefronts into Paso Robles.

“There’s definitely not enough access in North County. As you know, everything is spread out,” said Lucky Thomas, who is the co-owner of “Send It,” the second medicinal delivery service licensed by the city.

Thomas hopes that the city will allow his business to expand to recreational marijuana use.

“it’s been tough with the current local laws of medicinal only,” he said. “You have to have volume and you’re left at a disadvantage versus competing recreational shops that are coming to the area.”

The city will gather input from Thursday’s meeting and take up the issue again in October.