Sacramento City Councilman Hires Private Attorney to Help Change City’s Marijuana Ordinance

SACRAMENTO -- "Windows broken, tools stolen. Quite a bit going on," said Daryl Collins, owner of D's Smoking Pit.

In the 11 months since Daryl Collins opened D's Smoking Pit along Del Paso Boulevard, his business has been broken into six times, and neighboring businesses have been hit by vandals as well.

"This is a retail strip, Del Paso Boulevard. I feel it should remain like that. For the marijuana growers, it needs to be somewhere industrial," Collins said.

And that's the crux of the problem that City Councilman Allen Warren has with a city ordinance passed in January regarding marijuana sales in Sacramento -- cultivators can apply to open shop in commercial zones.

It's the reason Warren hired a private attorney, to help amend the ordinance, and move cannabis cultivators to industrial areas of District 2 instead of areas designated for retail.

"The ordinance specifies you cannot, if you have a cultivation, doors have to be locked, the windows have to be blacked out. And so, if you got a retail corridor that's trying to re-emerge, new industry to compete with more traditional retail, you can have a block... completely shut off to the public," Warren said.

Not everyone agrees.

Decades is a business that's been along Del Paso Boulevard for 35 years. The owner, James Hill, said he's felt uncomfortable having a liquor store right next door. He'd feel more comfortable having a business that cultivates marijuana because he says, "those who use cannabis are really not violent people."

While Warren welcomes the industry to Sacramento, his attorney says keeping District 2 businesses and its residents safe is paramount.

"I grew up in Del Paso Heights, and I know the impact that marijuana and other drugs, when marijuana was illegal, the kinds of trauma that it caused in our community," Warren said.