Medical marijuana issues on agenda

May 14, 2006

Monica Rodriguez, Daily Bulletin (CA)

City staff members tonight are expected to ask that the City Council extend a moratorium on the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries.

In addition, city staff will likely request that the council repeal an exemption it made in April that permitted an existing dispensary, located at 268 San Lorenzo St., to continue operating.

On April 3, a majority of the council voted to adopt an urgency ordinance that set a 45-day ban on such facilities, in order to give the city time to begin work on the development of regulations for such businesses.

If the council approves extending the moratorium, it would be extended for 10 months and 15 days and give city staff the necessary time to address the businesses, a city staff report said.

Staff members are also expected to ask that the council repeal the exemption it granted to Farm Assist Caregivers, located on San Lorenzo Street. At the April meeting, representatives for the dispensary said they had been in operation since December 2005.

The request follows research on the part of city staff that found the business is operating illegally since it does not have a business license. A business license cannot be issued because the city does not have any areas where such operations are authorized to be opened, the report said.

City staff will also ask for authorization to have city code enforcement personnel follow up on the matter, the report said.

Also tonight, the allocation of more than $4.1 million in federal funds will go before the City Council for final approval.

Community Development Block Grant funds must be divided into different categories using federal formulas.

About $2.9 million are expected to go to a combination of infrastructure improvements and to programs and services.

– Monica Rodriguez, (909) 483-9336

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