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San Diego Medical Marijuana Regulations Get Final OK From City Council

Above: Young plants in a Denver-area house tended by licensed medicinal marijuana caregivers sit under a grow light on Nov. 25, 2009.

The City Council on Tuesday gave final approval to a package of zoning and operating restrictions for medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego.

Under the ordinances, dispensary operators must get conditional-use permit from the city — which will be good for five years — and an annual public safety permit from the San Diego Police Department.

Collectives may not be within 1,000 feet of public parks, churches, child care centers, playgrounds, residential care facilities, schools and other dispensaries, and not be within 100 feet of residential zones. Dispensaries also are barred from having on-site medical professionals — a law intended to prevent such businesses from becoming "one-stop shops."

The zoning will keep collectives completely out of the district represented by Council President Todd Gloria, encompassing downtown, Hillcrest and North Park. No more than four collectives will be allowed in any of the other districts.

Councilwoman Marti Emerald called the regulations "fair and reasonable."

The panel has addressed the issue numerous times since California's Compassionate Use Act was approved by voters more than 17 years ago.

Zoning and operating guidelines passed in 2011 were rescinded after medical marijuana advocates collected enough signatures to force council reconsideration.

The advocates considered the 2011 regulations too restrictive, but taking them off the books had the effect of making all dispensaries within city limits illegal. The restrictions in the new plan are considered to be even tighter.

The second reading of the regulations passed on a 6-1 vote, with Councilman Mark Kersey dissenting, after just one member of the public spoke. Public testimony took several hours each time the medical marijuana issue previously came before the council members.

Kersey repeated his "no" vote of two weeks ago. He said at the time that community groups in his district opposed the regulations.

The California Coastal Commission will have to approve the regulations for the area of San Diego near the shoreline. That could happen in around three months, according to city staff.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 11, 2014 at 5:03 p.m. ― 5 months, 1 week ago

The zoning will keep collectives completely out of the district represented by Council President Todd Gloria, encompassing downtown, Hillcrest and North Park
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It's quite obvious our city leaders are not serious about fair and reasonable access to mm by literally making the entire urban core of the city off-limits to mm dispensaries.

This will leave many patients without adequate access.

Thank goodness we have politicans like Mr. Ammiano at the state level trying to fix the mess idiot local governments like the SD council are creating with mm.

Hopefully something comprehensive will pass at the state level, and Gloria and his appauling NIMBY guidelines can be flushed down the toilet where they belong.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 11, 2014 at 5:04 p.m. ― 5 months, 1 week ago

Councilwoman Marti Emerald called the regulations "fair and reasonable."

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Marti, dear, I like you, and I agree with you most of the time. But, in this case, you are wrong. Zero collectives in our entire urban core is fair and reasonable?

It's netiher fair nor reasonable.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 11, 2014 at 5:07 p.m. ― 5 months, 1 week ago

Dispensaries also are barred from having on-site medical professionals
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Pardon my Cantonese, but only a jackarse would think a law PREVENTING medical professionals from being at a place that dispenses medication is a bad thing.

Is the council huffin paint whilst taking on marijuana?!

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Avatar for user 'SmilerG'

SmilerG | March 11, 2014 at 9:13 p.m. ― 5 months, 1 week ago

As these latest MMJ rules were being formulated, I sent an email to each of the Council members, asking them to keep disabled patients who rely on public transportation in mind, regarding central locations for dispensaries. This situation apparently does not matter at all to them - resulting in lack of locations Downtown, in Hillcrest or North Park. As a responsible patient and voter, I'll remember their complete lack of compassion and concern next time Election Day rolls around.

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