Weeding Out Pot Shop Problems

The reigns may soon tighten on where to sell medical marijuana

A task force studying medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego has released its list of recommendations to be presented to the San Diego City Council.

Among the recommendations: that dispensaries go through a permitting process, limit their hours of operation, and abide by zoning restrictions. Also, dispensaries wouldn't be allowed within 1,000 feet from a school, library or playground or 500 feet from another collective.

Craig Beresh, president of a pro-marijuana group, hopes the city council approves the recommendations.

"Overall, I like it. I think its balanced and pretty fair," said Beresh."I think it's going to work for both the medical marijuana community and the city of San Diego."

Not everyone agrees. Marcie Beckett, a Pacific Beach resident who is also on the board for the Community Planners Committee doesn't think the suggestions go far enough.

"All these storefronts are illegally selling marijuana for profit," she said. "To me the task force comes in with a zoning proposal. They are trying to create zoning regulations for an illegal business."

The Community Planners Committee voted Tuesday night to oppose the recommendations and ask the city council to delay the item for 60 days. The task force presentation is scheduled for Dec. 8.

Over five weeks, the task force held public meetings, considered comments from residents and also studied ordinances from other cities and counties in California.

"All the people in the task force came in with the same goal to try and work together to come up with a sensible solution that would allow collectives and cooperative to operate legally under state law but protect against the danger that it could become disruptive to the community," said Alex Kreit, the task force chair.

San Diego city council members will consider the task force report and possibly make changes before voting. A date for that vote hasn't been scheduled.

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