Recreational cannabis is coming to Long Beach after the City Council formally approved an ordinance that will allow dispensary owners to start selling the drug as soon as next month.

The 8-0 vote Tuesday, July 10, was more a formality as the first reading of the ordinance was approved earlier this month. Mayor Robert Garcia hinted on Twitter Tuesday night that his signature could come as early as this week.

Minor changes to the ordinance included giving owners an extra hour of business time—they will now be able to stay open until 9 p.m. instead of 8 p.m.—and delivery services will also be extended to 10 p.m.

Leaders also will require that at least 40 percent of dispensary workforce hours be given to employees who have a family income below 80 percent of the Los Angeles County area median income and have a net worth below $250,000.

Long Beach moves toward allowing sales of recreational marijuana

They also need to have lived in Long Beach Census tract for at least three years where a majority of households have an income at or below 80 percent of the county’s area median income.

Recreational dispensaries will also be required to submit plans that show how they will reinvest in their communities, potentially by helping small businesses as well as communities that fall into the Census tracts where “equity employees” live.

If the mayor signs the law this week, the earliest that recreational sales could take place would be mid-August, with sales being bound to the existing nine dispensaries currently in operation within the city. Future adult-use sales, as mandated in the ordinance, will have to co-locate with medical dispensaries, dozens of which are winding their way through the city’s permitting process.

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz__LB on Twitter.

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