Lemoore City Council votes 4-0 to approve planned cannabis cultivation site

By Ed Martin, Editor
Lemoore City Council votes 4-0 to approve planned cannabis cultivation site

Lemoore's elected leaders continue their foray into the world of cannabis, and during their Tuesday, Sept. 1 council meeting, approved an 83.5-acre cultivation project in the town's industrial area south of Highway 198.

The vote was 4-0 following a brief description of the proposed project and just one written objection during the required public hearing. The new owner is FARM Lemoore, LLC.

The council members' vote sets the stage for what could be a significant tax windfall. A financial agreement, attached to the project's approval, could provide at least two percent of the project's gross receipts, meaning Lemoore's anticipated $2.9 million budget shortfall this year could get some much-needed help via cannabis sales.

According to Lemoore City Manager Nathan Olson, Lemoore's financial coffers could expect payments in August and November. "We're anticipating that deal to bring $2 to $2.2 million annually to the city," he said. "It's definitely helpful."

Olson went on to say that the city needs to do all it can to promote business in Lemoore. "This is a potential moneymaker to help the general fund, so my question would be, when would the anticipated first crop come in?"

The company behind the cultivation project, located on the acreage north of Jackson Avenue and just east of Highway 41, also owns the Natural Healing Center, based in Lemoore's downtown. Natural Healing Center also owns cultivation sites in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

Tuesday's final agreement wasn't the city's first stab at a cannabis cultivation site. "Several years ago, we entered into an agreement with KKAL-LP to develop 83.5 acres," said Olson.

 After some negotiation, FARM Lemoore LLC will acquire the land from KKAL-LP after making a cash payment to the original owner. It turns out that KKAL has its eye on nine acres at Cedar and 19th Avenue with the idea of putting in some retail and affordable home property.

Council members like the proposals." The current city council has to do everything it can to keep Lemoore businesses going, so any businesses that come in, and if it's a legal business, it should be allowed to try." said Mayor Pro Tem John Plourde. He went on to say that there will always be philosophical differences, but if it's legal, he has no problem with it.

"It's up to us to bite the bullet and make the decision, good or bad. We're going to be responsible for the decision we make. I think passing it on to the next city council would be unfair to them, and so that would be like kicking a can down the road."


Lemoore City Council votes 4-0 to approve planned cannabis cultivation site

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