Let’s leave the issues of language and speaking through masks aside for the moment. Here is Jack Ding’s take on the second dispensary.

We’ve made the best interpretation we can of Mr Ding’s commentary. You can click on the CC box for closed captions:

Mr. Ding:

“We spend too much time on this issue and of course the money is important, the tax money is important, but it’s not significant.”

• Apparently, Mr. Ding doesn’t think that HdL’s projection of $250,000 to $390,000 in annual revenue is significant.

“And I figure out, you know, what are we spending the money on this in the public from beginning to right now? Already in the triple, already four times for the next four or five years, and you can bring in the tax and the income. And it’s not to the money issue basically, it’s kind of the message the city council we want to send over to our community.”

• So, he may be referring to the amount of money that has been paid to consultants since day one. I do not understand what he means by “triple or four times for the next four or five years.” But, suddenly, it’s not about the money, it’s about the message the city council wants to send to the community. Perhaps he is referring to what he says next:

“So far i think (unintelligible) city council take care very seriously to, you know, to undertake a very responsibility for our local communities and different opinions, different backgrounds, some is the, you know, based on the personal experience, some based on the financial interest. You know, we consider it all, and also, we are looking, we are not thinking.”

• We take the opinions of our residents seriously. When we read opinions, we read them fairly, without judgment. (I’m half guessing here)
So, we are not proud, you know, we can (can’t?) consider an all”

• So, we are not too proud or self-serving to not consider all opinions (??)

“… especially for those council members right now retired, just only mayor Agrimonti closely involved ordinance in preparation. That is a big work.”

• Only the mayor was closely involved with the preparation of the ordinance and it was a huge task. We don’t know what relationship this has to his previous sentence,.

“These kinds of documents could be, as you know, the model copy for another city.”

• Our “documents” (which documents, the ordinance, the application and regulations documents?) are nothing special. Other cities are not looking to us for examples.

“However, the city of the Sonoma is different. We have it on our way to process and in a project, especially this is a new project, we already spent a lot of the energy and the time on this.”

• We’ve already spent a lot of time and energy on this.

“We had a better do it to the better and try to be than a perfect, although it is not necessary.”

• So, because we spent a lot of time and energy, we should make an effort to make the second process better and try to be perfect? Although it is not necessary.” (?)

“So according to another staff and I suggest six months for the reviewing and the (unintelligible) the processing got the, you know, the information that is not necessary.”

• He seems to go along with the six-month recommendation but we are not sure what he means by “processing” and “information”.

“That is a take responsibility for the business owners, for the customers, for all the neighbors, for the communities.”

• Who’s taking responsibility? The city council? Is the city Council taking responsibility for all those involved in this whole issue? Maybe that’s it.

“I’m the tax person specializing in the tax consulting. I have, I do have some in the marijuana in the business than you have clients, to be honest. i don’t mind understanding, it’s tough, especially for these kinds of small players and a mom/pop and having, you know, 10 acres in the land and want to plant it and then they sell it to earn their money. It’s impossible.”

• Mr. Ding is not aware of the deep issues faced by cultivators. Some are having a hard time; some are getting by. This, arguably, has nothing to do with a second dispensary in Sonoma.

“But we in city council, we want to protect our local people, right? So that we cannot just leave it open, “oh come here and then you can apply.”

• We’re not certain who he talking about. Apply for what? We already have a well-regulated process. Perhaps he’s referring to Measure Y?

“Finally, all the local people cannot get benefit.”

• We don’t understand his reference.

“Why you select us to be as a leader? No, we need to protect, number one.”

• Just for the record, Jack Ding was elected because he ran unopposed. We’re not certain we understand the mention of protection. Who is being protected from what? We would argue that the city council is ignoring its responsibility for the health and welfare of its citizens by denying them best access to cannabis.

“Number two, still is a compliance issue and under the federal level still it is illegal. People are struggling, you know, how to avoid pay, how to pay additional taxes later the store and come down. A lot of the people that are owing the taxes and bankrupt and also got a lot of the issues.”

• We don’t know, he may be going back to cultivators’ issues again. But the mention of being illegal at the federal level is just a red herring, a tired trope that those who don’t like cannabis like to trot out any time they can.

“So, when we move forward in a project, of course, we need to look at a positive side, bright future, but never forget people already, they got out of the trouble.”

• So let’s try to always be positive but remember that some people in this business have experienced troubles. (??) Though he actually says they got *out* of trouble. We’re not clear on what he means.

“We should learn something. that is a little bit of contribute to (unintelligible), thank you”

• So we should learn something from that, and that is my contribution to this discussion.