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Carlsbad Bans Commercial Marijuana Ahead of Recreational Pot Sales

Customers buy products at a medical marijuana dispensary, April 20, 2016.

Credit: Associated Press

Above: Customers buy products at a medical marijuana dispensary, April 20, 2016.

A new ordinance passed in Carlsbad is set to go into effect at the end of October, expressly prohibiting commercial cannabis activity, including the sale of recreational and medical cannabis. But personal use and cultivation will still be allowed under Proposition 64.

The city defines commercial pot to include "medical marijuana cooperatives and collectives."

Before the ordinance, commercial pot was banned in the city through permissive zoning.

Councilwoman Cori Schumacher, who voted against the ordinance, said restrictions for commercial cannabis needed to be more clearly defined.

"The concern was that there would be confusion between the state and the city about what would be allowed as far as licensing," Schumacher said. "And we just wanted to make sure that was completely clear."

In 2018 the Bureau of Cannabis Control will start issuing licenses to sell marijuana recreationally in the state.

On September 12, the council voted 4-1 in favor of the ordinance, which adds it to the city municipal code. The only democrat on council, Schumacher said instead, she was in favor of an option that allowed for medical marijuana deliveries.

“For them it’s a mobility issue," she said. "They can’t get out of the house, they’re homebound. Allowing for the commercial delivery of medical marijuana to certified patients would have been a compassionate way of allowing something that’s legal to get to our residents.”

RELATED: North County Cities Grappling With Marijuana Regulations

The city did make an exception for cannabis activities allowed under federal law that focuses primarily on medical research.

There is a movement underway against the ordinance. According to the city, "a citizens initiative has been submitted to the city that would legalize certain commercial marijuana activities in Carlsbad. If that initiative qualifies for the ballot and is approved, the provisions in the initiative would override the City Council’s Sept. 12 decision to prohibit those commercial activities. "

Fifty-seven percent of voters in Carlsbad approved Prop 64 back in 2016.

Beginning January 1, 2018, marijuana sales for recreational use will become legal in California, but not in Carlsbad.

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