Guadalupe’s City Council wants more information and more input about a proposal to allow cannabis businesses in the city.

Council members recently heard from consultant David McPherson, the compliance director with HdL Companies, about the matter.

Asked to answer a number of questions so staff could proceed, council members instead said they needed more information. Mayor Ariston Julian noted that it was their first major presentation on the topic.

“I think we’re being schooled right now in terms of what’s here,” Julian said, adding that they needed more information before deciding what makes sense for Guadalupe.

Staff asked about whether the city should allow cannabis and the types of cannabis operations they would prefer — cultivation, manufacturing, testing labs, distribution and retail. 

They also wanted to know how many of each type of business should be allowed and where in the city would be acceptable along with how to handle the application process. 

Julian said he would prefer to restrict the number of options.

“When you have too many, then you start to shrink the amount of resources you have,” Julian added.

Councilwoman Liliana Cardenas said the city needed to conduct more outreach to the community.

“I just really want our community’s input on their concerns, needs and wants,” Cardenas said.

McPherson said a workshop could be planned to help answer residents’ questions and concerns. 

The City Council for the financially ailing city agreed last month to look toward cannabis to help boost revenue.

A retail store that has $3 million in gross receipts annually could generate $120,000 to $180,000 in revenue for Guadalupe depending on a cannabis tax of 4% to 6%, according to McPherson. That would be in addition to the approximately $30,000 in sales tax, he added.

Pending state legislation could force a quicker decision since it would require cities changing cannabis rules to go through the California Envrionmental Quality Act process, which can take time and be costly.

However, one option would be for the city to adopt the rules by the July 1 deadline if the pending legislation passes, but delay implementation to avoid CEQA requirements.

Frances Romero, a former mayor who works as a planning consultant, urged the council to make the decision based on what’s best for the community.

“If you’re going to do this, do it right,” Romero said. “Make sure you do all of the best practices and that you have high expectations.”

One resident, who said she buys cannabis for her disabled daughter’s seizures, urged the council to allow cannabis dispensaries in the city, saying she has to leave town for purchases.

“We need money and we need jobs. Having a retail option as well as the others will bring jobs,” she said.

Joe Armendariz, who represents the Natural Healing Center cannabis dispensaries with stores in Grover Beach, Morro Bay and other locations, said Guadalupe is losing potential tax revenue and should move forward with approval

“I think it’s the right thing to do, and I think it’s, frankly, something that will prove to bring enormous economic and social benefits to the people of Guadalupe,” he said. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.