Vote NO to keep local control
Sausalito residents, not profit-driven businesses, should decide what it best for their community. The ballot measures are written specifically for the financial benefit of the sponsor, not the community at large. Voting "NO" will keep the power with the citizens of Sausalito to determine what type of cannabis regulations they want through a transparent and informative process.
Sausalito Cannabis Regulations
The City of Sausalito's existing regulations allow for adults to receive delivery of cannabis from businesses located outside of the city and through home cultivation. The municipal code currently prohibits all medical, recreational, commercial, and delivery cannabis businesses from operating from locations inside Sausalito.
The city council held public hearings and received strong public opposition to allow the county's first and only "recreational" cannabis storefront to be permitted in Sausalito. The cannabis company, Otter Brands, which had attempted to negotiate a business development agreement with the City, decided to circumvent the public process that included Sausalito resident input and, instead, take their personal interest initiative straight to the ballot. A second cannabis company, Sparc, followed with another ballot measure – both will be on the November 2022 ballot.
November 2022 Ballot Measures
OTTER BRANDS / CLEARY
The first initiative, submitted by Otter Brands, LLC and sponsored by Sausalito resident Karen Cleary, qualified for the ballot in July 2021.
The Otter Brands/Cleary measure includes minimum application standards that only Otter Brands - and no other applicant - can meet. The applicant would have to meet all these following requirements and more:
Participated in meetings with at least three current or then-current members of the City Council between December 31, 2018, and April 20, 2021.
Participated in community meetings related to operating a cannabis business prior to April 20, 2021.
Provided a detailed draft development agreement to the city following the City Council’s discussion of cannabis development agreements in 2019.
Have an owner who resides in Sausalito and either owns 20% or more of the business or owns more than 1% and is directly involved in the business.
Have one owner who has experience managing, operating or owning a business in the City.
Otter Brands owner, Connor Johnston, is connected to Big Cannabis through his business partnership with Berner's on Haight. “Berner", a cannabis entrepreneur, became famous for his "Girl Scout Cookies" products and has grown a half a billion dollar cannabis business, in large part, by heavily marketing Cookies brand high potency products that appeal to youth.
Cookies aggressively promotes logo-emblazoned merchandise, including skateboard decks, beanies and trucker hats, backpacks and hoodies. The age of their intended customer base is obvious and predictable in following the Big Tobacco playbook. There is nothing that would prevent the same predatory marketing in Sausalito.
AUSTIN / PEARSON (SPARC)
The second initiative, sponsored by Paul Austin and Joseph Erich Pearson, qualified for the Sausalito ballot in May 2022.
The Austin/Pearson measure would require:
An "equity owner", but not permanently.
Owner must currently own a cannabis business in California (for 5 years) and currently hold cannabis license in California for 3 years.
Sparc is another big cannabis company with five cannabis storefronts and cannabis delivery services. The company sells extracts (with THC levels reaching 85%) that appeal to youth like Strawberry Pop, Banana Cream, Sour Berry and Lemon Cream Pie. Similarly, they market through branded apparel.
In reviewing this long and complex initiative, it appears that the 10% equity partner in this business deal would be allowed to transfer their part ownership over to someone who did not fulfill the definition of an equity owner after the initial year. This would mean that the promise of equity ownership could be a temporary arrangement until they were bought out.
Either business would add a risk to public health.
Both initiatives would allow the cannabis industry to decide what, when, where and how the City of Sausalito and its residents would be required to sell recreational cannabis products through a local storefront. They would essentially remove local control.
If either measure passes, the initiative would take effect immediately without resident input on issues such as store locations, proximity to residences or youth-centered location, or impacts on traffic and parking.