Proponents Push for Special Election on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Lemon Grove - NBC 7 San Diego
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Proponents Push for Special Election on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Lemon Grove

The special election would seek to clarify the specific language of Measure V, passed last November in Lemon Grove

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    NBC 7's Artie Ojeda shares the challenges faced in the medical marijuana field that has proponents in Lemon Grove pushing for a special election. (Published Monday, Aug. 21, 2017)

    Even though voters in Lemon Grove have already approved an ordinance to allow medical marijuana dispensaries, marijuana proponents are now pushing for a special election on the same issue.

    Last November, voters approved Measure V by only about 90 votes. The special election would seek to clarify the specific language of Measure V.

    There are several issues in question, including zoning, which would impact where the dispensaries could be located.

    Jennifer Mendoza, the Mayor Pro Tem of Lemon Grove said Measure V does not allow dispensaries within 1000-feet of day care centers. She added marijuana proponents are trying to change the wording to exclude day care centers with 12 or fewer children.

    "A day care center is a day care center whether you have three children or 23 children. You’ve applied for a state license, you watch children for a business," said Mendoza.

    Those calling for the special election say the city is trying to prohibit delivery service of medical marijuana, and limit the number of marijuana plants a person can grow in their home to a number lower than allowed under Proposition 64. They claim it could open up a black market of illegal dispensaries.

    "If patients can’t get access to this medicine in their own homes then there’s going to be a void that is going to be filled by somebody, and so we want to make sure that doesn’t happen," said Dallon Young, with the Association of Cannabis Professionals.

    The city is also concerned about the potential cost of a special election, which could cost up to $600,000.

    Signature gatherers begin soliciting signatures on Aug. 11. They would need to get 15 percent of Lemon Grove’s registered voters to agree to a special election.

    "The only people that this is going to benefit are medical marijuana dispensary business owners, and landowners," said Mendoza.

    Mendoza said the city would be willing to negotiate on the subjects of delivery and number of homegrown plants, it will not budge on the zoning issue.

    Young said he is willing to drop plans for a special election if the city would agree to his group’s terms.

    "Work with us on this to get something suitable that goes with the intentions we had last year when this happened and we’ll drop it," said Young.

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