MERCED, Calif. - Some came to learn about possible business opportunities, while others came out of curiosity to hear about the future of medical marijuana dispensaries in Merced.
Consultants spoke to residents hoping for feedback on proposed rules to open a cannabis business. Since city officials approved medical marijuana dispensaries last year, they have been working on creating guidelines for opening a dispensary.
Mayor Mike Murphy said there will be up to four medical marijuana dispensaries in Merced. The city hired SCI Consulting, Inc. to help create the ordinance to make it happen.
"We want to make sure it fits what our residents want and need."
People challenged many of the ideas presented-- some of those requirements include getting appropriate land use permits. They also discussed the application process.
The city is considering using merit based criteria during the selection process of those who apply.
Dr. Prapanna Smith, who wants to open a cannabis business in Merced, said, "They're looking to do it right, which is good news-- some of the criteria I'm not sure I would agree with entirely. Overall, I think they're on the right track."
City officials said they are also looking to branch out to more business ventures with cannabis.
"They'd like that to possibly include some other businesses related to cannabis, distributors, and perhaps manufacturing," said Kim Espinoza, Merced Planning Commission.
Planning Commission members said there will be revisions to the ordinance before it's presented to the council. They hope to have policies in place by the end of the year.