On behalf of The Silicon Valley Organization (The SVO), we are writing to support the staff memorandum to move forward on a cannabis business permit and to implement the proposed cannabis regulation ordinance. By way of background, we are the Silicon Valley’s premier business advocacy organization representing 1,400+ companies that employ nearly 300,000 workers and we represent our membership as the region’s largest Chamber of Commerce.

As the region’s leading voice of business, we believe that the cannabis industry should be recognized and legitimized through local ordinances, so that local laws are consistent and aligned with new state regulations with regard to cannabis policy. California voters have made their intent clear through Proposition 64, with nearly 57% of Santa Clara County residents voting to approve its passage; therefore, the City of Milpitas should be proactive in supporting a growing business and industry.

If the city council does not take action on the proposed draft ordinance, the city would risk having no cannabis regulations in place beginning January 2019. The failure to adopt the proposed ordinance could potentially allow commercial cannabis businesses to open, without a thoughtful regulatory process that has received feedback from the city council and the community at-large. The proposed ordinance would apply buffer zones of 600 feet between a cannabis business and all K-12 schools. Furthermore, the ordinance would explore additional community benefits that would overall enhance the quality of life and vibrancy of the City of Milpitas. The draft ordinance considers multiple elements of how our residents would benefit from including new businesses into the fabric of the community.

For these reasons, we respectfully ask for your support of staff recommendations for council item 20 and move forward with approving the proposed cannabis regulatory ordinance for the City of Milpitas.

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