BERKELEY, CA - MARCH 25: Marijuana clones are displayed at the Berkeley Patients Group March 25, 2010 in Berkeley, California. California Secretary of State Debra Bowen certified a ballot initiative late yesterday to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana in the State of California after proponents of the measure submitted over 690,000 signatures. The measure will appear on the November 2 general election ballot. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
It's getting more expensive to operate a medical marijuana dispensary in the county.
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved an $11,000 annual fee for such facilities.
The sheriff's department told the County Board of Supervisors, that the fee is needed to reflect costs of investigations, issuing permits and compliance checks.
According to our partners at the North County Times , the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is charging significantly more for dispensaries to open a business than other establishments.
Fees for adult entertainment establishments run $637 and explosives permits would cost a business only $479.
KPBS reports that this $11,000 fee is about the same as other cities like San Francisco charge their dispensaries. In addition to the annual fee, regulations will prevent dispensaries from opening within a thousand feet from homes, schools, parks and other specified areas.
Those opposing the steep fees, argue that limiting access to dispensaries will force needy patients to illegally obtain medical marijuana. As Supervisor Diane Jacobs told KPBS “…if the FDA would approve marijuana as a prescription drug, we wouldn’t be having to make this decision today”.