The 1119 Ream Avenue lot split application to cater for a Cannabis Manufacturing Business located within the 600 foot School Buffer Zone of the “I AM” School is proceeding at a rapid pace.

The school appealed and the city decided to call an urgent “special meeting” on Dec. 16.  This is after months of silence and the city having already promised to respect the 600 foot School Buffer Zone after a referendum was signed by over 500 people in June.

Now we get a hurried Christmas meeting? Call me cynical, but there seems to be a lot of “bending over backwards” for Jefferson Soul so it can establish a cannabis business where it has no right to be.

Perhaps the reason is that the city hurriedly needs to fund a planned $6.4 million cost for a solar-powered wastewater treatment plant to handle all of Crystal Geyser’s huge volumes of wastewater? And what better way to pay for the bonds the city has decided to raise for the project than by a cannabis tax levied on all cannabis manufacturing businesses on a square foot basis?

If this is so, the 4,000 square feet of 1119 Ream Ave could potentially net the city a tidy sum of $20,000 per month, according to its new cannabis tax law passed by the city in September.

I don’t know, but turning this town into the cannabis capital of California just so the city can raise money to pay for treating volumes of wastewater generated by a mega-company like Crystal Geyser and exposing children to the cannabis industry as just a part of “collateral damage” doesn’t seem such a great idea to me.

Perhaps the city should take a small step back and really consider the California Supreme Court CEQA case Laurel Heights v University of California (Laurel I) which held that future actions had to be considered together when assessing even a “simple thing” like a lot split.

Or, maybe read the Supreme Court CEQA case of Berkeley Hillside V City of Berkeley which held that if the location of the (Ream Ave.) lot split is distinguished from its CEQA Exempt Class as being special (ie. within a buffer zone), the city can’t rely on a Class 1 CEQA exemption and will need to conduct an environmental review.

I won’t hold my breath however as it seems the decision is already made and our children’s safety from cannabis will be sold down the river, just like the volumes of wastewater it seems Mount Shasta will now end up paying for one way or another.