Pleasant Hill City Council could extend cannabis moratorium

The Pleasant Hill City Council on Monday night will consider renewing an "emergency ordinance" that would extend a moratorium on almost every commercial marijuana-related business from operating within that city.

The renewed ordinance would continue to include the exceptions for personal cannabis cultivation (up to six plants allowed indoors, as directed by state law) and for cannabis delivery services originating outside Pleasant Hill. Delivery services could not be established in Pleasant Hill.

As in many Bay Area cities that over the past 22 months have adopted their own "emergency" cannabis ordinances, Pleasant Hill leaders have been cautious, wary of the crime and zoning issues that come up in some cities with liberal cannabis laws, while watching how other cities' more pro-cannabis ordinances are working out.

Antioch has adopted regulations to allow cannabis retailers in a cannabis business overlay district; Concord has adopted regulations to allow two medical cannabis manufacturers, two testing labs and six distributors (affiliated with approved labs). Martinez is currently reviewing a potential cannabis management program to allow retail, delivery services, a manufacturer, a distributor and a testing lab. Walnut Creek leaders have taken a more conservative path, electing to allow up to two non-storefront medical delivery-only businesses to be based in that city.

Pleasant Hill officials are also waiting for further clarification of ever-evolving state cannabis regulations.

This would be the second extension of an emergency cannabis ordinance in Pleasant Hill first approved in December 2017, and would run through Dec. 4, 2019. This would be the last such extension allowed; the City of Pleasant Hill will have to have its own standard marijuana ordinance on the books before that date.

Passing the new ordinance requires a four-fifths council vote. Monday's meeting begins at 7 p.m. inside City Council Chambers, 100 Gregory Lane.