Council Updates Rules For San Diego Medical Marijuana Shops
Last week, the city of San Diego granted its first land-use permit for a medical marijuana cooperative. This week, it gave final approval to amend the city code on cooperatives, but some San Diegans still have concerns.
Under the changes approved Tuesday, the city at any time can test marijuana items for byproducts, such as mold, pesticides and other bacteria. Officials can also revoke the cooperative's public safety permit if the facility is found in violation of the rules. Additionally, the amendments also set a fee of nearly $1,100 for the public safety permit.
Opponents at the meeting raised concerns about dispensary delivery services and potency labeling for marijuana products.
Scott Chipman, a community activist opposed to medical marijuana, told the council the city should have a system in place that shows a connection between the delivery service and the recipient.
"So we can track who’s providing it, where is it coming from — keep track of records so we know who’s receiving it, and that those records can be officially accessed by the city," Chipman said.
The updated regulations urge cooperatives to label items for potency, but it's not a requirement. The amendments also don't address the issue of deliveries — that's subject to state law.
According to guidelines from Gov. Jerry Brown's office, California courts "found an implied defense to the transportation of medical marijuana when the 'quantity transported and the method, timing and distance of the transportation are reasonably related to the patient’s current medical needs.'"
Councilwoman Lorie Zapf was the only no vote against the updated rules. She said she wants to discuss the issue of deliveries at a future committee meeting.
At Tuesday's council meeting, Councilwoman Marti Emerald said the city's process to regulate medical marijuana cooperatives is still evolving.
“I think it’s fair to say that this is a work in progress," Emerald said. "That as more information becomes available to this body, we can analyze it, discuss it and fine tune a policy that works for San Diego."