, May 23, 2022

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Cannabis business asks Vallejo Planning Commission to drop $600K donation requirement

  •   2 min reads
Cannabis business asks Vallejo Planning Commission to drop $600K donation requirement
V-Town Farms in Vallejo. Photo: Google.

VALLEJO – Citing a change in the market, one of the city’s newest cannabis businesses is requesting that the planning commission amend a major use permit letting the business out of a requirement that it make an annual charitable donation of $600,000.

V-Town Farms, which currently occupies 19,035 square feet inside the old Food-4-Less grocery store in North Vallejo, is also requesting that the city modify the requirement that it have 60% transparency on the front of its building.

V-Town Farms is recommending that instead of the $600,000, the business donate a minimum of 1% of annual revenue to local nonprofits and schools of its choosing. In addition, the business would like to forgo the 60% transparency by providing at least two armed security guards on the premises 24/7.

Jonathan Atkinson, a senior planner, wrote in a staff report to the commission that city officials were recommending the commission deny the proposed amendments.

“Staff does not believe that modifying this condition of approval would be in keeping with the intent of the City Council’s action,” Atkinson wrote.

Both conditions were approved by the Vallejo City Council last year following a lengthy process.

The planning commission originally approved the major use permit in March 2021. That decision was appealed to the city council by a competing cannabis business. At a May 25, 2021, public hearing, the council directed staff to return with revised conditions of approval which were approved by the council in June.  

The addition of the $600,000 community benefit package along with community outreach and the addition of air filters were some of the conditions added by the council to approve the project last year.

V-Town Farms also pointed to $65,000 it spent on litigation when the competitor challenged the council decision in court as a reason to modify the $600,000 donation. A Solano County Superior Court judge later ruled against the petition.

V-Town owner Chuck Wesley said he was “hopeful that the Planning Commission will approve our requested changes,” when asked on Tuesday.

V-Town Farms is one of several cannabis businesses under the umbrella of KOLAboration Ventures which operates several weed businesses throughout the Bay Area, including in Rio Vista and Contra Costa County.

The Vallejo Planning Commission is scheduled to take up the request during a public hearing at 7 p.m. on Wednesday via teleconference.

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