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Commission split 2-2 over marijuana testing facility
marijuana testing
Marijuana testing like this could be taking place on McKittrick Court in Ceres if the Ceres City Council gives the green light.

The Ceres Planning Commission found itself locked in a 2-2 split vote – the equivalent to a procedural denial – over a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and development agreement to allow for a laboratory operation for the testing of cannabis related products at 2909 McKittrick Court.

The matter will be heard at the Ceres City Council level on Monday, Sept. 23.

Commissioners Couper Condit and Dave Johnson voted “no” on the project while Robert “Bob” Kachel and Gary Del Nero cast “yes” votes. Commissioner Laurie Smith was absent.

Condit expressed concerns about possible impacts, especially relating to the proximity to residential neighborhoods. However, nobody living near the proposed facility voiced any concerns.

Unlike the three existing cannabis-related businesses which deal in large quantity of products, the testing facility proposed by Tri Valley Labs, Inc., would deal in only limited quantity of cannabis products produced locally and from all over the region. Cannabis is routinely tested for potency and safety.

For the past two years, Tri Valley Labs, Inc., has inquired about the possibility of providing testing services in Ceres for cannabis related products and has been working with City staff in looking for an appropriate building that could fit the applicant’s operation. The applicant found a location for the laboratory operation within an existing 4,999 square foot building at 2909 McKittrick Court.

The project involves remodeling the building façade by removing all roll-up doors and installing windows and glass doors; building 12 offices/work areas; and installing of a network and security system to deter any crime.

If approved, Tri Valley would be the first laboratory operation for cannabis testing services in Ceres.

The applicant also plans to operate the laboratory six days per week; from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. The project parking area will feature 10 parking spaces with one access point into the site off of McKittrick Court where customers and employees will enter and exit the business.

The city is proposing a developer agreement calling for Tri Valley to pay a monthly fee of $2,000 or 3% of gross receipts for the first year; $4,000 or 4% of Gross Receipts each month, whichever is greater; and $5,000 or 5 percent of gross receipts per month, whichever is greater.

Through developer agreements, Ceres has two cannabis dispensaries and one manufacturing lab. Kase Manufacturing, located at 4111 Brew Master Drive, could potentially use the testing facility in Ceres if it is approved.