OCEANSIDE — Another cannabis manufacturing and distribution facility received the city’s green light to open in Oceanside’s industrial zone.
Council narrowly approved two conditional use permits (CUPs) and one waiver of locational requirements in a 3-2 vote on Sept. 1 for J&K Manufacturing’s proposed facility at 2420 Industry St., making it the second combined medical cannabis manufacturing and distribution facility in town after Left Coast LLC.
Another facility similar to Left Coast and J&K is in the final steps of its permitting process before it reaches final approval.
J&K Manufacturing received unanimous approval from the Planning Commission in July but needed the council’s final approval for the two CUPs and location waiver. The facility will produce cannabis products including vaporizer cartridges containing oil from the plant.
While J&K Manufacturing originally applied as a medical cannabis facility, the city recently approved the business to operate under its new adult-use (recreational) regulations. The business was required to submit a substantial conformity application following council approval.
As with most cannabis facilities that have been approved in Oceanside, J&K Manufacturing required a location waiver due to its proximity to residential districts and businesses.
As per city zoning regulations, cannabis facilities must have a minimum separation of 1,000 feet between other regulated uses, such as liquor stores and other cannabis businesses, as well as schools, daycares, public recreation facilities, religious facilities and residential districts. The city has the ability to grant waivers to cannabis businesses that fall short of the 1,000-foot gap as long as staff and the city find that the cannabis facility wouldn’t likely impact those other uses.
J&K Manufacturing’s building is located approximately 130 feet to the nearest residential district to the north and 570 feet to another residential district to the south.
According to staff, the terrain and blockage of Oceanside Boulevard create a walking distance of 1,200 feet between 2420 Industry St. and the northern residential district, and the Sprinter tracks create a walking distance of over 5,000 feet between the facility and the nearest southern residential district.
The facility is also 610 and 710 feet from two religious facilities, but Oceanside Boulevard also acts as a buffer between them as well. The street also creates a 0.3-mile walk from the cannabis facility to a nearby liquor store located 915 feet away and a daycare that is 990 feet away and is located in the same shopping center as the liquor store.
“Those are a lot,” said Mayor Esther Sanchez, who voted against approval.
Sanchez noted that although the council has previously granted location waivers for similar facilities in the past, this one, in particular, had more violations as part of the requested location waiver than the others.
“We’d be waiving more than I can accept,” she said.
Councilmember Kori Jensen also voted against approval of the business.
City staff has explained that cannabis businesses are only allowed in industrial districts of the city, which are usually located near residential districts, meaning cannabis facilities wouldn’t be able to operate in the city if location waivers were never approved.
Several residents were opposed to council approval of the facility’s CUPs and location waiver, citing their concerns about potential harmful impacts from cannabis use and fears of increased access for minors. Many of these same residents have previously stated the same concerns about past approved cannabis businesses.
As he has in the past, Councilmember Chris Rodriguez responded to those concerns, noting that children are primarily gaining access to cannabis products from the black market, not legal businesses like J&K.
“We’re competing against the black market,” Rodriguez said.