Cannabis Regulations in South Lake Tahoe

After hours of discussion, the stakeholders in South Lake Tahoe has come up with new regulations on the use of oil in the city. However, there remains to be a concern regarding the Tahoe Wellness Cooperative.

The Tahoe Wellness Cooperative is the only legal cannabis dispensary that distributes cannabis products such as CBD oil and edibles in South Lake Tahoe, California. Because a number of different regulations are being set on cannabis usage in the city, the company is constantly fighting to make sure that it can continue operating.

In August 2018, the city approved an ordinance that exempts the current operations of the Tahoe Wellness Cooperative and establishes six licenses. These six licenses include two for cultivation, two for retail and two for microbusiness. All these six licenses allow for adult use for medical purposes.

For Tahoe Wellness Cooperative to be able to continue operating for non-medical purposes, it will need at least one of the two licenses for microbusiness. While this is achievable, the city staff states that the licenses do not apply in the city’s Bijou area where Tahoe Wellness Cooperative operates.

This led to the successful referendum on cannabis regulations which was directed by James Anthony, attorney of Tahoe Wellness’ executive director, and Cody Bass, City Council candidate.

The Compromise

During the course of the discussion, the attendees have decided to compromise on a number of key points such as the concerns indicated in the previously created ordinance. Bass suggested for the attendees to have an auction in which the highest bidders get to have the opportunity to acquire available licenses. The auction was then based on a scoring system.

A local resident named Oliver Starr, who is looking to obtain available licenses, requested the scoring rubric to be changed so that there could be a range of gross profit sharing by percentage. According to Starr, this would help a lot and promote fairness as this will avoid cases where the scoring favors larger companies that could put down larger amounts of money.

Moreover, it has also been suggested that the profit sharing should be voluntary so that it would not be considered a tax. Also, the profit sharing should come separate from the fees. This is so that the city can recover from the costs spent in administering the license. These suggestions were generally approved by the attendees.

Furthermore, there is a general consensus that the separate licenses for distribution must be created. As of the previous ordinance, only those that hold microbusiness licenses are allowed to distribute.

The Conflict

The discussion generally ended up with more compromise, but since each attendee has different opinions, there were some conflicts that aroused.

Nevertheless, the meeting turned out to be productive. In fact, a second reading of the new cannabis ordinance in the city of South Lake Tahoe is expected in just a few months.

Given the many benefits of cannabis and cannabis-derived products, it only makes sense for the Tahoe Wellness Cooperative to fight for what they fight. After all, cannabis fans in South Lake Tahoe will be left with nothing if the operations of the one and only cannabis dispensary in the city are ceased.

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