City Council issues dispensary permits to Valley Pure, Platinum Connection then limits total number of dispensaries to three
By Crystal Havner
Special to the Sun-Gazette
FARMERSVILLE – Farmersville matched Woodlake’s number of dispensaries in March when they issued a permit to Token Farms. Now they have surpassed Woodlake by issuing two more permits at their city council meeting last Monday.
Two cannabis businesses, Valley Pure and Platinum Connection, had already passed the process for a commercial cannabis permit and were awarded those permits. Then the council voted to allow a maximum number of three cannabis dispensaries in the city.
According to the agenda, the council was first to vote on the two new permits and then vote to set the limit at three dispensaries. Council member Paul Boyer wanted the votes reversed.
“It makes sense to me that we know how many we are going to allow before we vote to allow them,” said Boyer.
The council had already approved Ordinance 489 which allowed for an undefined amount of retail licenses.
“The industry is just another business. It’s going to happen, so while we have the ability, we should take advantage. We should not limit by number, but by what the land use can support,” mayor Greg Gomez said when the ordinance first came up in January. “Tying us down to one permit, ties our hands. I can’t think of one thing our residents have asked for that does not cost money.”
In a compromise Gomez voted to set the limit at the number of businesses they currently have, three. Gomez’s driving motivation was potentially saturating the market.
“The customer picks a winner,” he said. “Only so many will survive in a certain area. Competition makes the business better.”
Charles Woody of Platinum Connection agreed. He was in favor of the three dispensaries, but no more,
“Over saturation is a big deal and a lot to consider”, Woody said. “We have been in this process from the start and invested a lot of time and money. To allow newcomers to come in hurts us.”
City manager Jennifer Gomez said those businesses that have been involved in the five-month permitting process have invested about $10,000.
“All three of these businesses have been in the process from the start,” she said.
Council member Ruben Macareno, who has in the past shown support for more dispensaries, in a surprise decision, was the only dissenting vote to add the two dispensaries.
“Over saturation is a reality,” said Macareno. “I am a mouthpiece for the community and the community is worried about over saturation. This council speaks for the people and they do not want to rush.”
All three businesses will still have to be approved by the Planning Commission for a conditional use permit and to rezone their parcels to Light Industrial.
This story was updated on May 17 at 10:09 a.m.