Richmond’s budding cannabis industry prompts Forum

San Pablo questions proposed cannabis operation in Richmond

Welcome to the Cannabis Capital.

With cannabis growing businesses setting up facilities in the city at a fast pace, Richmond Chamber of Commerce President James Lee wants to get all the stakeholders together for an education session on the new industry.

A Cannabis Forum will be held Wednesday, June 5, to help folks learn how to start a cannabis business in Richmond, or how to work with one. Speakers set for this forum include California Treasurer Fiona Ma, Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton, Richmond Planning Director Lina Velasco:, Richmond police Sgt. Nicole Abetkov of the regulatory unit, Zeead Handoush of 7 Stars Holistic Healing Center, and Cannabis lawyer Daniel Butt.

You must register to attend. To do so, click here.
The event is being held in the wake of the Richmond Planning Commission’s approval in April of an 18-acre marijuana production facility set to feature 44 greenhouses, a nursery, processing center, and cafe/office/meeting center at Richmond Parkway and Goodrick Avenue, a CBS SF Bay Area news report this week said Richmond is quickly becoming the Cannabis Capital of Contra Costa County.

The so-called Powerplant Project could bring an estimated 500 new full and part-time jobs and millions in city tax revenue to the city.

It is one of a number of projects resulting from the lifted ban on commercial cannabis cultivation in the city in 2016, led by Mayor Tom Butt, whose architectural firm, Interactive Resources, is behind the Powerplant Project, and whose son, Andrew Butt, is the lead architect on the project and also a city planning commissioner.

By inviting marijuana cultivation businesses into Richmond, Mayor Butt hopes to bring illegal operations into compliance, and also to raise needed tax revenue for the cash-strapped city.

Since City Council lifted the ban in June 2016, the city’s Planning Commission has approved conditional use permits for cannabis cultivation facilities and manufacturers on a number of occasions in the city’s light industrial areas:

Planning Commission Approvals, Cannabis since October 2016

  • Cultivation/production facility, Richmond Parkway and Goodrick Ave. (April 18, 2019)
  • Cultivation in 400 block of S. 2nd Street (Dec. 6, 2018)
  • Cultivation and manufacturing in 500 block of S. 31st Street (Dec. 6, 2018)
  • Cultivation in the 700 block of S. 32nd Street (Oct. 18, 2018)
  • Cultivation in the 700 block of 13th Street (modified existing permit) (Aug. 2, 2018)
  • Cultivation approved in the 600 block of Juliga Woods Street (March 15, 2018)
  • 6 cultivation permits in the 1100 block of Hensley Street (March 15, 2018)
  • Medical marijuana manufacturing approved in 900 block of Hensley St. (Jan. 18, 2018)
  • Medical marijuana manufacturing/cultivation in 900 block of Hensley St. (Dec. 17, 2017)
  • Cultivation in the 700 block of 13th Street (Dec. 17, 2017)
  • 5 marijuana cultivation businesses permitted in 300 block of Carlson Blvd. (Nov. 2, 2017)
  • Cultivation permitted in 400 block of Parr Boulevard (Oct. 5, 2017)
  • Product manufacturing permitted in 400 block of S. 1st St. (June 29, 2017)
  • Product manufacturing permitted in 2600 block of Hilltop Drive (Oct. 6, 2016)