Tuesday night’s Porterville City Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. will be host to a discussion that may bring the beginning of a negotiation between the city and two cannabis companies into fruition. However, based off of the Council’s scores and city staff’s recommendations, some members of the public are speaking out before the Council openly reviews the scores at their meeting, and are hosting a protest today with the hopes the Council will review the applications in more depth before making a final decision on who to award the two available permits to.
At their meeting on October 22, the Council conducted six interviews on applicants whose Request for Proposals (RFP), which were scored by a third party, qualified to be seen in front of the council. Each Council member scored the interviews without prior knowledge of the RFP scores, and were asked to score each interview on a scale of one to five, with a total of 25 points available among the collective Council.
According to the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, which reveals the Council’s scores for each interview, Haven and Culture Cannabis Club, the two larger cannabis companies based out of the area who are partnering with a local resident, scored the highest and are recommended as the recipients for the two available operating permits. Haven has proposed to open their recreational cannabis dispensary on the corner of Main Street and Morton Avenue, in the building formerly known as Letsinger Real Estate Center, and Culture Cannabis Club is proposing to open a location on Main Street.
David Horowitz, owner of Horowitz Jewelers, said on Friday Haven had approached him to use his business to apply for a permit, but he turned Haven down. “Do you want to see the business card they gave me?” he said.
And before the Council will make its decision on Tuesday night, a group of locals are holding a protest at the proposed location of Haven this morning, beginning at 10 a.m. The group is protesting in hopes the Council will take a closer look at the locations of the proposed dispensaries and how far they are from churches and schools. The protest is also a call to the Council to increase their consideration for the local applicants they interviewed. Steve Penn, the protests organizer and local applicant for an operating permit, is inviting the community out to the Letsinger building to join the protest this morning.
In addition to the discussion in relation to cannabis dispensary operating permits, the Council has several other items on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.
A public hearing is scheduled to consider the vacating of Yowlumne Avenue, Yaudanchi Street and Wukchumni Avenue. To submit comments for this public hearing, email your comment to [email protected]and they will be read aloud at the appropriate time.
The Council will also consider implementing an Emergency Services Therapy Dog program in support of local public safety personnel, and will discuss the provision of local mosquito abatement services.
This meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be livestreamed on the City of Porterville’s YouTube channel, which can be found at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5KuhSrNMNL9nwHJVtnJvvA. Comments to be read aloud during oral communications can be emailed to [email protected].