Antioch approves indoor cannabis cultivation business

110 points

Antioch’s second cannabis cultivation business was unanimously approved Tuesday.

The Planning Commission weeks earlier recommended adoption of Delta Family Pharms Cannabis Cultivation’s proposal to operate in the city’s northwest business park at 2101 W. 10th St. Because it will be located inside an existing building with only minor expansion, it will not require environmental review, though terms of an operating agreement must still be worked out.

The applicant, Rick Hoke, proposes to operate his business in about 7,500 square feet of the 25,380-square-foot multi-tenant building that he owns. The cultivation area will occupy some 5,375 square feet of space for a mother room where plant cuttings are taken; a clone room, where plants are grown; five grow rooms for plants; a trim area; and a cure room where plants are dried.

Delta Family Phrams Cannabis Cultivation will share delivery space with Delta Dispensary located in the westernmost corner of the building. That dispensary, which Hoke and his family also own, was approved in June 2019 and began operating in December of that year.

At the time of Delta Dispensary’s application, members of the nearby Al Saddiq Community Center and Mosque objected to the business, saying it was too close to where children and families gather. The eastern edge of the new cultivation business will be 165 feet from the center.

Though the mosque did not submit commits this time out, Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock asked Hoke if he had contacted the center about his new proposal.

“They have no issue,” he said. “They think we are a good neighbor and they are happy the way we performed.”

The new cultivation business’ security plan, which was reviewed by the Antioch Police Department, includes surveillance cameras, bollard barriers and security guards who protect both cannabis businesses at the site. The new cultivation area, however, will not be open to the general public, according to the plan.

Hoke said the business will employ 10 to 15 people, the majority of whom will be local and earn between $17 and $25 an hour.

The business is expected to bring in badly needed tax revenue to the city, and will also be required to pay a fee on gross receipts, an amount which has yet to been determined.

Last fall, the city approved its first cultivation business, Contra Costa Farms LLC, whose plan is to operate a business that includes large-scale cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and a dispensary on 9.2-acre former industrial site in northeastern Antioch.

Before voting on the new proposal, which included a design review and use permit, Mayor Lamar Thorpe said he was happy to see the business working well with the mosque, which last year had made the decision for approval a “tough one.”

“You are helping out Antioch on the map with a very important industry for us,” he added.

Another cannabis business proposal in the same area, however, was sent back for further review to the planning department.

The applicant for Culture Cannabis Club had proposed to operate a 1,525- square-foot dispensary and retail shop selling vape pens and cartridges, along with a delivery service, at 125 Verne Roberts Circle. Council members, however, had concerns about security and parking issues and wanted more review of the matters.

Since cannabis became legal in Calfornia, Antioch has approved five dispensaries.

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