New Vallejo cannabis dispensary not a done deal as appeal is filed

by John Glidden | May 10, 2021

VALLEJO – Approval of a new 17,000 square foot cannabis storefront inside the old Food 4 Less building in North Vallejo isn’t a done deal – after all.

California Collective Care (CCC), a cannabis dispensary along Lewis Brown Drive, filed an appeal blocking a March 15 decision by the city’s planning commission which OK’d a major use permit to allow V-Town Farms to begin cannabis operations inside the former grocery store.

CCC, through its consultant Ammericann Development, argues there are multiple reasons why the project should be rejected: The new business is too close to several local schools, the project doesn’t align with the city’s general plan, it will harm other cannabis dispensaries in Vallejo, the project will have a significant impact on the environment, and the new dispensary will “invite crime.”

Martin Wesley, president of V-Town Farms, dismissed the appeal.

“Our position is that the appeal is meritless,” Wesley told JohnGlidden.com on Monday.

Wesley said he was confident that the appeal will be denied once its reviewed by the Vallejo City Council. Wesley said California Collective Care is wasting the time of city staff and public monies by filing the appeal.

The council is scheduled to decide on the appeal during a special June 15 meeting, city spokeswoman Christina Lee confirmed to this news website.

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 Rio Vista, and Contra Costa County.

V-Town Farms plans to occupy nearly 19,000 square feet of the 50,000 sf building. About 17,000 sf would be used for retail sales, with distribution using 1,485 feet, and manufacturing occupying 494 square feet of floor area for “non-volatile processes to manufacture infused pre-rolls, cannabis beverages, and flower,” according to a March staff report to the planning commission. V-Town Farms would operate within the Meadows Plaza Shopping Center.

The appeal argues that V-Town Farms failed to conduct a public safety impact study regarding the impact the new business might have on surrounding businesses and local residents. CCC further contends the Vallejo Police Department “has been mute on this issue to date.”

In an email to JohnGlidden.com, city staff said the police department did participate in the process regarding the V-Town Farms project.

“Per the Planning Commission Staff Report, VPD reviewed the application, including the security plan, and had no concerns,” said Christina Ratcliffe, interim planning and development services director.

CCC claims Vallejo’s general plan does not support the use of cannabis where V-Town Farms wishes to operate, in addition, the appeal argues that the “proposed retail cannabis dispensary is located dangerously close to schools.”

According to the appeal, V-Town Farms is located 900 feet from Dan Mini Elementary School, and 800 feet from Griffin Academy Middle School and High School. The city of Vallejo requires that cannabis locations be 600 feet from schools.

CCC is one of 11 existing cannabis businesses allowed to operate in the city of Vallejo. HTP, a competing location has agreed to transfer its permit to Kolaboration Vallejo, LLC, allowing V-Town Farms to do business in the city of Vallejo.

Wesley previously told JohnGlidden.com that the new business is expected to create numerous living wage jobs and provide $2 million in taxes to the city.

Editor’s note: This article was updated on May 12, 2021 to include the correct date the Vallejo City Council will hear the appeal. The city of Vallejo provided an incorrect date previously. In addition, information from the city regarding the Vallejo Police Department’s opinion about the project was also included.


JohnGlidden.com is an independent news blog covering the cities of Vallejo and Benicia.  If you appreciate the journalism on this site, please consider making a contribution.

Published by John Glidden

John Glidden is a freelance journalist reporting on the city of Vallejo. The native Vallejoan also covers the local school district, Vallejo elections, and public safety.

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