Marijuana Dispensaries May Face New Zoning Laws

Not in my backyard

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    On Monday, San Diego City Council members will consider zoning ordinances for medical marijuana dispensaries.

    Zoning regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries operating in the city of San Diego will be discussed at Monday's City Council meeting. The Council is considering new ordinances that would regulate where dispensaries can operate their businesses.

    The Medical Marijuana Task Force, established in 2009, made several recommendations to the Land Use and Housing Committee, who added a few of their own.

    The new zoning regulations would require medical marijuana dispensaries to be at least 1000 feet away from schools, churches, parks, playgrounds, libraries, child care centers, youth facilities, and other dispensaries.

    All dispensaries would be required to be a non-profit and apply for a conditional use permit.

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    The dispensaries would only be allowed in industrial and commercial zones, without any residents living nearby.

    Monday's vote would only be the beginning of the process to create ordinances to help regulate medical marijuana dispensaries.

    The council will vote on recommendations from Land Use and Housing, if the vote is approved it will go to the Planning Commission and then back to City Council for a final vote.

    The city developed the Medical Marijuana Task Force to help city council create guidelines for medical marijuana patients, primary caregivers, marijuana cooperatives and collectives, and police enforcement.

    The task force also made other recommendations to city council including requiring collectives to have security guards present during operating hours, more lighting outside dispensaries, limited operating hours, and rules regulating the types of signs dispensaries can use.

    In June, County Board of Supervisors enacted similar zoning regulations for dispensaries in their jurisdiction.