The Benicia City Council’s planned discussion and vote on the first reading of the city’s proposed cannabis ordinance tonight was pushed back to the Dec. 5 meeting, according to a notice sent out by the city Tuesday afternoon.
City Manager Lorie Tinfow said the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) in Sacramento had received an abundance of requests from Benicia and Solano County determining conflicts of interest by three of the councilmembers. Mayor Elizabeth Patterson and councilmembers Tom Campbell and Alan Schwartzman either live or own businesses within or near the potential zones for cannabis businesses that would be voted upon and thus could be prevented from voting on or participating in the discussion on the cannabis ordinance. This would leave only two members who could vote on the item and no quorum, so Tinfow and City Manager Heather McLaughlin decided to continue the item to the Dec. 5 meeting while the FPPC determines which members can participate when the debate is reopened.
The prepared staff report and council discussion will not be held tonight, but members of the public are still permitted to speak on the item during the public comment portion, which will potentially be considered by the council for its decision and deliberation at the Dec. 5 meeting.