Pelham holds first reading for CBD store, vape shop ordinance

Published 1:41 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By NOAH WORTHAM | Managing Editor

PELHAM – The Pelham City Council held a first reading for an ordinance that would revise the city’s regulations regarding vape shops and CBD stores in the city during a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, June 3 at Pelham City Hall.

During the meeting, the council recessed to hold a public hearing for an ordinance regarding additional regulations for CBD stores and vape shops in B-2, general business district, zones.

Andre’ Bittas, director of development services and public works, spoke on behalf of the city during the hearing and shared the proposed changes to how the city defines CBD stores and vape shops.

“We are looking at several revisions to our current CBD and vape ordinance that (is) currently in moratorium,” Bittas said.

According to Bittas, after the city adopted its vape and CBD ordinance several years ago, they realized they needed to update it.

During a meeting on Dec. 18, 2023, the Pelham City Council approved a six-month moratorium on the issuance of new business licenses for tobacco shops, vape shops, CBD stores and related paraphernalia stores as well as the expansion of the considered stores. The moratorium was established in order for the city to evaluate its current regulations.

“There were a lot of request about opening vape and CBD stores and we want to make sure that we have a responsible way to allow these folks to operate,” Bittas said. “While the staff (was) going through the ordinance, we identified some things in the ordinance that we have to change.”

Currently, a CBD shop or vape store is defined by Pelham through the square footage used to display products which allegedly led to business owners taking advantage of the definition. By utilizing less than 50 percent of the building’s square footage, businesses could get by with just a regular retail license. By avoiding identification as a CBD or vape shop, businesses could also bypass the city’s stated operating hours.

“So, what we did is we looked at other cities (and) how they use best practices for these stores,” Bittas said. “We realized that, instead of using the square footage to determine the definition of a vape (and) CBD store, we can use their sales or gross receipts from the sale of CBD products.”

Now, under proposal by the city of Pelham, the definition of a CBD and vape store would be adjusted to a business in which an excess of 10 percent of its gross receipts are from CBD and vape products.

Another change under consideration is a change to the distance requirement between CBD stores and vape shops and public facilities. Currently, there is a required distance of 500 feet between CBD and vape shops and public spaces such as parks, schools and senior centers.

“We realized that that’s very close to public facilities, especially like parks and everything else,” Bittas said. “So, we increased that distance to 1,000 feet.”

Additionally, the city is proposing a change that would allow businesses identified as CBD stores and vape shops to stay open longer by extending operating hours. Currently, CBD stores and vape shops may operate from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. but with this proposed change it would be extended by three hours to be from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. CBD stores and vape shops are currently allowed in B-2, general business districts, but the proposed revisions would prevent them from setting up in Pelham’s Corridor Overlay District.

During the new business segment of the city council meeting, City Council President Maurice Mercer held the first reading for the ordinance which is available in full for public viewing at Pelham City Hall and online at

With a public hearing and first reading complete, the Pelham City Council will vote on the CBD store and vape shop ordinance at a later date.

In other news, the Pelham City Council unanimously repealed Ordinance No. 429 in its entirety following a first reading that was held on May 20. The repealed ordinance regarded occupancy requirements for residential structures.

“The mayor and I asked the council to consider repealing this ordinance because it is an ordinance that cannot be enforced,” City Manager Gretchen DiFante said.

DiFante shared that the city is continuing to look into ways in which to deal with the issue.

During the meeting, the Pelham City Council approved a consent agenda which contained the following items:

  • A resolution to approve a tax rebatement agreement between the city of Pelham and PrintsWell, Inc and Amazing Grace Properties, LLC
  • A resolution to approve job descriptions and associated pay for positions of IT systems analyst, IT systems analyst-public safety and GIS administrator
  • A resolution to accept responsibility for the electrical bill for 11 new streetlights in the Simms Landing subdivision
  • A resolution authorizing the release of street bond money and accepting the dedication of certain public streets, sidewalks and right-of-ways located in the Grey Oaks subdivision
  • A resolution authorizing the release of street bond money and accepting the dedication of certain public streets, sidewalks and right-of-ways located in the Ballantrae subdivision, Strathaven at Ballantrae—sectors two, three and four
  • A resolution to approve a request for a right-of-way condemnation as amended for applicant Allison Mitchell
  • A resolution to adopt revised Pelham Parks and Recreation rules to have authority over city parks and other city-owned recreational lands
  • A resolution to authorize the amending of the city’s fiscal year 2024 operating and capital projects budgets

In other business, the council held a public hearing and first reading for an ordinance to amend zone district boundaries of the city by changing the present zoning of O-I, office and institutional district, to E-1, estate residential district, for property located along the east side of Bearden Road—across from Pelham High School—for owners Joey White and Shannon White.