Local Cannabis Dispensaries Oppose Changes to Ordinance

first_imgHerbeauty10 Ways To Get Into Shape You’ve Never Tried BeforeHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Strong Female TV Characters Who Deserve To Have A SpinoffHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyCreative Ways To Burn Calories That Require Little EffortHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyThese Are 15 Great Style Tips From Asian WomenHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyPretty Or Not: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About BeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyInstall These Measures To Keep Your Household Safe From Covid19HerbeautyHerbeauty Community News Local Cannabis Dispensaries Oppose Changes to Ordinance Council to deliberate closing distance gap between dispensaries from 1000 to 450 feet By ANDRÉ COLEMAN, Managing Editor Published on Thursday, April 15, 2021 | 3:29 pm Community News Subscribe Lawyers for two cannabis companies that finished in the top six of the city’s approval process have sent letters to the City Council asking that the cannabis ordinance not be amended.The City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing onMonday to discuss proposed changes that would shorten the distance between dispensaries from 1,000 feet to 450 feet and allow more than one dispensary per council district, provided the dispensary finished in the top six of the city’s selection process.“To change the rules now to allow competitors within 450 feet of these secured locations is unfair, subject to legal challenge, and contrary to the intent of Measure CC which was designed to avoid concentration by requiring dispensaries to be spread throughout the City,” said attorney Richard McDonald, who represents Integral, one of the cannabis companies that made it through the city’s approval process and successfully acquired the necessary permits to sell cannabis in Pasadena.MedMen (MME Pasadena), Harvest Pasadena, Integral LLC, Tony Fong (Varda), Atrium, and Sweetflower won the right to apply for the necessary permits to legally sell cannabis in Pasadena in 2019.According to McDonald, Varda and Harvest also oppose the changes.So far, only Integral and Tony Fong received commercial cannabis permits and have opened for business. Harvest received a conditional use permit, but so far has not opened shop.Sweetflower was eliminated for not including required documents in its application, and Atrium was removed after Harvest successfully applied to do business in District 3. Both companies unsuccessfully attempted to sue the city. MedMen was disqualified following a city investigation.The six companies successfully wended their way through the city’s process which was set up after voters overwhelmingly approved Measure CC.The measure, which allows up to six dispensaries to operate in Pasadena, passed with 63 percent of the vote in 2018. The ordinance also allowed the council to retain the authority to amend existing ordinances and adopt future ordinances regarding commercial cannabis business activities.The council placed the measure on the ballot after initially voting down an ordinance that would have allowed for the sale of cannabis, but did an about-face when cannabis supporters began making efforts to get a measure on the ballot that could have allowed an unlimited number of dispensaries to operate in Pasadena.But based on distance locations in the city’s ordinance and available locations, city officials later estimated only three dispensaries would probably open.“This proposed amendment is inequitable to the people of Pasadena and to all licensed and pending cannabis retailers in the city,” according to lawyers with the L.A.-based firm Glaser,Weil, Fink, Howard, Avchen & Shapiro.“Moreover, the proposed amendment would be especially prejudicial to MedMen and to other similarly situated cannabis license applicants because it would change the rules which supplied the basis upon which applications were submitted, real estate was obtained, and conditional use permits were pursued, to now allow direct competition against approved licensees within their respective Council Districts,” the firm wrote.Ironically, MedMen is suing the city and wants the entire process stopped.City Manager Steve Mermell kicked the company out of the process after determining the dispensary had undergone a material change of ownership.According to the city’s process, “A change of ownership and/or management is not allowed and is considered material where it constitutes a change of control.”This is the second time the proposed changes have come before the City Council.In 2019, the council shot down an effort to amend the cannabis ordinance when it tabled a motion that would have changed the law to allow up to three dispensaries to operate in each of the city’s council districts.At that meeting, the mayor and council were asked to revisit the discussion on the city’s cannabis regulations once three cannabis retailers are operational so that staff could evaluate the impacts on the city and the cannabis market, but three cannabis retailers have never been legally operating in the city.During that hearing, several council members expressed concern that changing the ordinance would go against the will of the voters and 41 people sent correspondence opposing the change.“First, this is the second time this proposal is being made. The first was on November 25, 2019, when the City Council unanimously expressed serious concerns and opposition, as well as requested additional analyses evaluating the impacts on the city and the cannabis market after three cannabis retailers were‘operational,’” McDonald wrote.“Prior to that, on November 13, 2019, the Planning Commission voted 6-1 that there be ‘no change’ to the existing regulations at all. Nothing has changed since then. No additional analyses have been done, no additional options have been considered, and no evaluation of the impacts has been conducted as requested,” he wrote.“Three cannabis retailers also have not become operational. To consider this amendment without any compelling reason or evidence that the amendment is necessary is unjustified, unwarranted, unnecessary and at best premature,” he wrote. Your email address will not be published. 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Where do we go from here?

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Where do we go from here?On 1 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today The Government has given notice to employers that stemming the tide oflitigation at employment tribunals is their responsibility. But alternativedispute resolution has yet to catch on in the workplace. Lucie Carrington looksat some promising developmentsPressure is on employers, workers and their representatives to findalternatives to the law when it comes to settling workplace disputes. Themassive increase in tribunal cases and levels of compensation over the past fewyears, and the Government’s current determination to bolster in-house disputeresolution procedures through the Employment Bill and other proposedlegislation have all added urgency to the search for other ways out. Ten months ago arbitration and conciliation service Acas launched anarbitration scheme for cases of unfair dismissal. It offers a quick,confidential and less formal process than a tribunal. But the arbitrator’s viewis final and there can be no recourse to an employment tribunal if either partyis unhappy with the outcome. So far the scheme has not been hugely successfulwith only seven cases having come forward. Viable alternative This is not the only form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) thatemployers and their advisers are considering. Mediation is becoming afashionable skill in the legal profession as more people try to avoid lengthyand costly legal action. It is already growing in popularity as a solution tobusiness disputes. Mark Mansell, a partner in the employment department atAllen & Overy is working on a pilot mediation scheme with QC John Bowers.He is convinced it has great potential as a way of resolving workplace issues. “It came out of the view that employment tribunals weren’t the best wayof resolving disputes, particularly in discrimination or harassment cases wherethere might be some possibility of an employee staying in employment,”Mansell says. “Look at the experience of other countries such as the US, Australiaand New Zealand where mediation is a more important part of the HR armoury forresolving disputes. “Given the larger awards and the hike in claims, it’s only a matter oftime before employers here start to think that tribunals simply aren’t the bestway of resolving disputes. At the very least we must give other ways of doingthings a go,” he says. Degree of training Some ADR services, such as Bristol-based ADR Group, insist that mediatorsshould be legally trained but not all mediation services follow this rule.Certainly there will be cases where mediators need some expert knowledge butAcas, for example, keeps a list of people who are trained in mediation but notnecessarily legally qualified. The Allen & Overy pilot mediation scheme involves both lawyers andnon-lawyers although, once again, they are all trained in mediation. Whateverthe case, the mediator has to be accepted by both parties. The pilot involves two mediators for each case – one a lawyer, probably anemployment lawyer with mediation experience, and the other a trained andexperienced mediator. Both parties come together for an initial meeting and topresent their case. “This could be the first time both have aired theirarguments to each other,” Mansell says. They then retire to different rooms while the mediators shuffle between themwith a view to their coming to some sort of agreement. A major part of themediation is working out the parameters for a settlement. It could be thatsomeone wants financial compensation, or it may be the employee just wants anapology or recognition that a mistake has been made. “Often money is a badway to resolve these sorts of problems,” says Mansell. The process should last about a day. However, it will also involve somepreparation time, though Mansell is at pains to point out that it is not alegal process: employers are not expected to justify every action theirmanagers have taken. It is also a voluntary process, which means that eitherparty can withdraw at any time and opt for an employment tribunal instead. So far the process has been used in only four cases. Mansell wants tocomplete about half a dozen before analysing them, working out any changes andoffering it as a service to employers. Employers can then offer it to staff asan option for settling unresolved grievances. Swamped in-trays Employers are also trying to find their own ways through the tribunal claimsswamping corporate in-trays. Armed services retailer Naafi introduced its ownin-house ADR scheme more than 18 months ago (Employers’ Law, June 2000). Thescheme was set up in partnership with Amicus, formerly the MSF union, to dealspeedily with unfair dismissal claims. If it becomes clear that management has acted fairly and properly then theunion will not support an employee who wants to take the case further. If theunion thinks there is a case to answer then it goes to arbitration or possiblyan employment tribunal. So far it has proved very successful with no cases making it as far astribunal, says HR director Mike Nicholson. He believes it could work fornon-unionised firms too – all they need is some form of employee representationand the will to discuss unfair dismissal claims frankly. Ironically, the scheme is not open to non-unionised staff at Naafi – whoprobably account for two thirds of the workforce – because of the partnershipdeal with Amicus. “From the union’s point of view it is a membershipbenefit and to apply it to all staff would be to undermine their efforts torecruit members, and our deal with them,” Nicholson says. Management responsibility However, the non-unionised majority almost certainly benefits from theeffort Nicholson and his HR colleagues have put into improving the standard ofmanagement in the organisation. All 600 line managers are now trained ingrievance and disciplinary procedures and well versed in Naafi’s anti-bullyingpolicy. “It’s a very significant part of our ADR scheme. We have someexcellent HR policies and processes but their effectiveness is down to howmanagers implement them at the front line,” Nicholson says. It is a point echoed by Yvonne Bennion, a policy specialist with theIndustrial Society makes. Last year she co-authored the society’s own report onADR: Courts or Compromise. “Personnel managers often feel helpless becausethey’ve been let down by line managers who act without thinking or don’t followthe rules,” Bennion says. She suggests that if employers are really serious about resolving workplacedisputes in house, they have to involve managers across the organisation. Unfortunately, the Government’s proposals on dispute resolution in theEmployment Bill are unlikely to help personnel managers at this level. The Billsets out minimum disciplinary and grievance procedures that employers mustoperate (see page 16). Employers who don’t follow the disciplinary proceduresare likely to be heavily penalised while employees who don’t use the grievanceprocedure will never reach a tribunal. It sounds great except that the minimum standards are not as demanding asthe existing Acas codes of practice which were revised only a year ago, andwhich most large firms say they implement. In addition, the Bill seems to be revokingwhat is known as the Polkey principle. This has been around since the late1980s and effectively means that tribunals can find against employers who donot follow their own procedures, even if the outcome would have been the same. “The bill is pulling in both ways,” says Christopher Mordue, anassociate in the employment department at Pinsent Curtis Biddle. “It isincorporating statutory minimum standards into every employment contract while,at the same time, attempting to get rid of the Polkey principle.” Union fears It’s a pretty radical change to the tribunal regime but one that is likelyto leave employers confused, even if as Mordue suspects, tribunals continue toapply the Polkey principle anyway. At the same time the TUC fears that the Government’s plans will preventworkers pursuing their right to seek justice through the legal system. “Weare keen for firms to have good disciplinary and grievance procedures butstopping people going to employment tribunal is philosophically the wrong approach,”says senior employment rights officer Sarah Veale. Yvonne Bennion backs her up. “Of course it’s right to pursuealternatives, but not at the expense of limiting the rights that people have inlaw,” she says. “Who is the government to deny people their day incourt?” A better approach would be to pump more resources into Acas so that it cando the job it is good at – helping employers keep workplace disputes away fromthe tribunal, according to both the Industrial Society and the EngineeringEmployers Federation. Acas has a statutory duty to offer conciliation for every tribunalapplication. Last year (2000/01) the organisation conciliated in more than100,000 individual applications out of 130,000 claims made. Seventy per cent ofthose cases were subsequently either settled or withdrawn. Admittedly the Government has said it wants Acas to increase the work itdoes with smaller firms through workshops and conferences but, given thefigures, it seems hard to believe that ministers have not made Acas thelynchpin in the drive to help firms resolve disputes in-house. To conciliate, arbitrate or mediate?ArbitrationAn independent arbitrator is appointed to decide the outcome ofa dispute. He or she will take evidence but in a less formal setting than atribunal or court or law. The idea is that the arbitrator’s decision is finaland may well be legally binding. Acas is probably best known for the arbitration it provides incollective disputes between employers and unions. But it now also offers anindividual arbitration scheme for unfair dismissal cases. ConciliationA third party is brought in to help the parties in a disputecome to some sort of compromise and find a settlement that is acceptable to allsides. Conciliation is not about offering possible routes out but helpingparties find their own solutions. Conciliators are paid Acas employees andtrained in conciliation techniques but not necessarily legally trained.MediationThis is similar to conciliation but mediators are moreproactive in steering different parties towards a conclusion and will suggestpossible ways to move the process forward. Acas also offers what it callsadvisory mediation to organisations that have problems which have yet to reach theimpasse of a formal dispute.Early neutral evaluationThis started in the US. An objective observer studies theevidence with a view to giving both parties in a dispute an early and frankevaluation of the merits of a case. Sources: Acas, The Industrial Society, ADR GroupHow to make mediation workAs with any alternatives to the law,both parties have to want to resolve the dispute if they are consideringmediation. If either wants to have its day in court then mediation is not theanswer.– Both parties must be prepared to be flexible; they must thinkabout what they are prepared to accept and what they are prepared to concede.– Mediators aim to offer possible solutions, to steer andcajole parties to a conclusion, so both parties also have to be willing to takeadvice. – The process has to be confidential as well as voluntary. – It is not a formal legal process, so turning up with boxfiles full of evidence won’t impress. Mansell also suggests both employers andemployees make a better impression if they present their own introductorystatements. – Mediators cannot force the parties to settle. Employees canstill use the legal system if they feel they have not had justice.last_img read more

A shift back to used vehicles creates opportunity for credit unions

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Melinda Zabritski Melinda Zabritski is Senior Director for Experian automotive financial solutions team, where she is responsible for implementing products and services specific to the automotive credit and lending industry. She also … Details At the onset of COVID-19, the automotive industry experienced an unprecedented situation with stalled sales resulting from factory shutdowns, business restrictions and buyers choosing to delay purchases. To adjust, manufacturers offered competitive incentives to increase sales. Low interest rates, no money down offers, and extended loan terms made new vehicles an enticing buy, driving prime consumers back into the new vehicle market. As a result of the incentives, we saw captives increase overall market share, while credit unions and other lenders took a hit. Captives have historically held the largest portion of the new vehicle financing, but with the incentives offered early on during COVID-19, their market share jumped even higher. According to Experian’s Q2 2020 State of the Automotive Finance Market report, captives held more than 60% of new vehicle financing, up from 54.8% in Q2 2019. Comparatively, credit unions comprised 10.2% of new vehicle financing, down from 11.8% in the same time frame.Additional opportunity still exists for credit unions. Months into the pandemic, there are fewer incentives, new vehicle inventory shortages and rising vehicle costs could trigger car shoppers to lean back into the used vehicle market; a sweet spot for credit unions. Used vehicles rebound faster than newOverall, used vehicles are still in greater demand than new ones. Used vehicles made up 59.25%, of all financed vehicles in Q2 2020. And with new vehicle inventory shortages, used vehicle sales have rebounded at a faster rate than new. In June 2020, new vehicle sales were still down 10.73% year-over-year, while used vehicle sales actually grew 12.14% over the same period. This trend has continued through the summer, with 2.38% growth in July and 4% growth in August. This opens a great window of opportunity for credit unions. In the current environment, many consumers will expand their search for affordable financing options outside of what’s offered at the dealership. Historically, credit unions have held a strong percentage of the used vehicle lending market. In fact, in Q2 2020, credit unions held 24.9% of the used market share, second only to banks who held 34.8%. Credit unions can grow their market share offering loans at affordable rates that appeal to in-market car buyers.Prime consumers make up the largest segment of used vehicle loans at 36.9%. This is a positive trend for credit unions. Staying close to the data can help credit unions understand trends and anticipate demand, such as used vehicle demand rebounding—especially for prime consumers.  Extended terms keep payments manageable The average used vehicle loan amount continued to grow in Q2 2020, reaching just over $36,000. But to manage this increase, car buyers increasingly opted for extended loan terms to keep their monthly payments manageable. Terms reached record highs for used vehicle loans, with an average term length of about 65 months. Seventy-three-to-84-month term loans also saw an increase from 18.7% in Q2 2019 to 20.6% in 2020. This helped keep the average monthly payment for a used vehicle loan at $568, which was only an $18 increase from Q2 2019. Another contributing factor to manageable monthly payments was interest rates, which saw a steady decline, clocking in with an average rate of 9.69% for used vehicles in Q2 2020. As incentives continue to decrease, car buyers will look for the best rate for their loan, making way for credit unions to offer incentives that will attract more in-market consumers.  The automotive industry has experienced significant change since the beginning of COVID-19. While the initial reaction of manufacturers was to offer competitive, sales-driving incentives to push new car sales, they’ve scaled back their efforts, resulting in many consumers returning to the used market. As we continue to navigate toward recovery, credit unions can leverage this shift by staying close to the data, identifying trends and remaining fluid with strategies that offer consumers the best financing options, no matter their needs and budget.last_img read more