The Pittsburg City Council has approved a commercial cannabis permit, one of the first issued in Contra Costa County since commercial sales of recreational marijuana became legal in California earlier this year.
The council voted on Monday night 4-1 to allow Canyon Laboratories to use cannabis oil to manufacture medical and non-medical cannabis products out of a new facility at 780 Clark Avenue.
Currently, Canyon Laboratories manufacturers a wide range of products such as topical creams, dietary supplements and medical foods. Now, it will be able to add raw cannabis extracts in many of its products and create recreational ingestible products such as gummies.
Canyon Laboratories will be purchasing the raw cannabis extract and will not be growing marijuana in their labs.
“We are very committed to the science of what cannabis offers in different product formats," said Richard Fischler, CEO of Canyon Laboratories. "There’s a lot of functional benefits of cannabis extract both as CBD and THC form that we plan to produce products for."
More than 68 percent of Pittsburg residents voted in November 2016 to pass Measure J, an initiative that allows the city to implement a maximum 10 percent marijuana tax on all commercial marijuana businesses.
Canyon Laboratories and the city negotiated a tax rate between 1.25 and 5 percent for all gross receipts. Fischler says he expects tremendous growth in the business with this new capability, in addition to taxes that otherwise the city would not generate.
A city analysis estimated the agreement could generate more than $100,000 in revenues a year.
BioZone Laboratories — Canyon Laboratories' sister company — has been operating in Pittsburg for more than 25 years.
"One of the things that made this company a little more quickly accepted was their history of operating a business that employed generations of different folks from the area, working in their laboratory without incident," said Pittsburg city manager Joe Sbranti.
Fischler says the combined companies will generate more jobs for the city.
“For us to be kind of the leader in this space, it benefits both us and Pittsburg,” Fischler said.