While California legalized cannabis (marijuana) with the passage of Proposition 64 in 2016, it is up to each municipality to decide if and how commercial cannabis retail, manufacturing, cultivation, events, and/or testing should be conducted in their communities.
To date, the Town of Los Gatos has not allowed for commercial cannabis retail, manufacturing, or cultivation. In the Bay Area region, the cities of San Jose, Santa Cruz, Capitola, Scotts Valley, Mountain View, Brisbane, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Pacifica, San Carlos, South San Francisco, San Francisco, Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Hayward, Livermore, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasanton, San Leandro and Union City have allowed commercial cannabis operations.
For more background on California Cannabis Legislation, please visit the California Cannabis Portal at https://cannabis.ca.gov/. While the legislation begins at the State level, each City and Town has the opportunity to enact its own Cannabis laws and regulations based on many factors, including what's the best for a particular community as a whole; provided those regulations do not conflict with State law.
Town Council Actions
At the January 26, 2021 Town Council Strategic Priorities Meeting, Council gave direction to start obtaining the Community’s feedback in order for Council to determine whether to amend its municipal code to allow commercial cannabis activities in Los Gatos.
In response, the Town Attorney held approximately ten public meetings with various community groups and Town Boards/Commissions/Committees to facilitate the discussion and to seek input on whether the Council should consider potential amendments to our cannabis regulations. At these public meetings, the majority of the public expressed an interest in allowing cannabis businesses in Town and were interested in the potential new source of tax revenue but also expressed concerns and uncertainty about allowing cannabis operations and the potential health and safety impacts. In addition, the Town conducted a Survey Monkey poll to solicit input from the public (results are included with the January 18 Council staff report referenced below).
On January 18, 2022, the Town Council voted to continue to explore possible taxation and asked staff to return to the Council with a consultant scope of services focused on community outreach, a scientific survey, and evaluation of potential taxation and revenues. The staff report and full video recording of the meeting are available on the Town website.
On February 1, 2022, the Town Council approved the Cannabis Consultant Services Proposal submitted by Hinderliter, deLlamas & Associates (HdL) Companies and authorized the Town Manager to execute the agreement. The staff report is available on the Town website. The Agreement for Services with HdL was executed on February 23, 2022 and the exploratory phase commenced.
This item returned to Council for consideration on June 21, 2022. Council decided not to pursue a ballot measure to tax cannabis businesses and the ban on cannabis businesses in Los Gatos remains in effect. The staff report with attachments, Addendum, Addendum B, Desk Item, and meeting minutes are available on the Town website and a full video recording of the meeting is available on the Town YouTube channel.
May 4, 2022 Community Workshop
The Town hosted a Commercial Cannabis Community Workshop on May 4, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. via teleconference. The workshop provided an opportunity for the community to learn more about cannabis regulation and share input regarding the potential for commercial cannabis in Los Gatos. The materials from the meeting are available below:
Scientific Community Survey
The Town worked with a professional consultant, ETC Institute, to conduct a scientific cannabis community survey. The consultant mailed out the survey to a random sample of 2,100 households in Los Gatos. These households were selected at random from an address list of all residences located in the Town's boundaries. The consultant offered these households three way to complete the survey - by mail, online, or phone. With 300 completed surveys, the results will have a precision of at least +/- 5.6% or a 95% confidence level. Over 400 completed surveys were returned. The consultant ensured the results reflect the community's demographics, ensured the results were statistically valid, and provided the Town with accurate data.
The Town appreciates all of the households who received, completed, and returned the survey. The survey results are included with the June 21 Council Desk Item referenced above.
Questions or Comments?
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