by Garth Meyer
The Redondo Beach city council revisited the subject of retail marijuana before Christmas, approving the hire of a consultant to advise on the application process to open a store, the drafting of an ordinance to set the sales tax rate, and taxing delivery into the city.
The purpose is largely to avoid lawsuits.
“We feel strongly that the city can benefit from a consultant,” said Mike Witzansky, city manager.
The final motion voted on Dec. 19 also directed City Attorney Mike Webb to write a legal review of the whole process of opening two stores, and for further discussion by the council of the proposed buffer zones.
Witzansky and staff recommended Tierra West Advisors.
Lastly, whether to require an applicant to already have leased or own a local site, Elizabeth Hause assistant to the city manager, reported that, of eight area cities Redondo Beach looked at, it was split 4 to 4 on whether to require it.
On another note, Witzansky said that, in his discussions with other cities, ”resoundingly there has not been police activity at these licensed retail outlets.”
Councilman Scott Behrendt, an attorney, sought more scrutiny.
“We need a written report from the city attorney,” he said. “Let’s do this right. Let’s not just jump in and get sued.”
“We can move forward in a lot of different areas,” said Councilman Nils Nehrenheim. “I see a huge benefit in a property requirement.”
Nehrenheim supported hiring the consultant, in order…