CORCORAN — The city of Corcoran may follow in Hanford’s footsteps as it considers allowing cannabis businesses within city limits.

Corcoran City Manager Kindon Meik said the discussions started in June, when the City Council received word that commercial cannabis companies were interested in locating within the city.

Last week, council held a study session on commercial and personal adult-use cannabis legislation, along with policy options available to the city.

The study session included a policy workshop presented by David McPherson, the cannabis compliance director at HdL Companies, a Southern California-based consulting firm. McPherson has worked closely with Hanford in the past on marijuana regulation.

McPherson said his presentation focuses on four core values: commercial and residential land use, public safety, environmental impact and access to youth. He said he takes these values and tailors them to the priorities of individual cities.

Most citizens make assumptions about the marijuana industry based on what they have seen in the past, McPherson said, which he describes as an “unregulated and unlawful industry.” He said he tries to show them what a lawful, legal and regulated environment can look like.

“We work with a lot of smaller cities on their concerns and issues,” McPherson said. “We don’t encourage or discourage the industry. We offer objective information.”

Meik said McPherson was very complimentary of Hanford’s “methodical and incremental” approach to commercial cannabis. He said Hanford has done well by limiting the number of business permits and only allowing them to set up in designated locations.

At this point, Meik said the city hasn’t gotten as far as determining what will be allowed — recreational or strictly medical — he only knows for sure that dispensaries would still not be allowed within the city.

Visits to cultivation sites are likely to happen in the future, Meik said. He said it would be beneficial to understand first-hand how the businesses operate.

“It will give council the ability to counter misconceptions,” Meik said.

While no decisions have been made, a follow-up workshop in the form of a town hall meeting is planned for late October. The council wants to make sure the public is educated and able to voice their concerns, ask questions and weigh in on the issues, Meik said. 

The reporter can be reached at 583-2423 or jzavala@hanfordsentinel.com

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