Group Threatens To Sue City Over Pot Collective Rules

April 27, 2011

, 10News (San Diego)

A pro-medical marijuana advocacy group sent a letter to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith Thursday saying it might go to court if the City Council does not ease recently adopted regulations for collectives.

The end of the letter from Joseph Elford, a lawyer for Americans for Safe Access, wrote that if the city does not allow collectives to operate in most commercial and all industrial zones and give them one year to obtain a required conditional use permit, "we will explore our options for doing so in court."

In a separate statement, the organization called it a threat to sue the city.

The regulations took effect this week after they were approved during a pair of contentious City Council meetings.

Under the new law, the estimated 165 dispensaries in town will be limited to certain commercial and light industrial areas at least 600 feet from homes, schools and other sensitive areas -- including other collectives. The permits required of the operators could take thousands of dollars and two years to obtain.

The collectives have operated without regulation since California voters passed the state's Compassionate Use Act 15 years ago.

The letter from Elford said the regulations allow operators "to operate only in very small slivers of the city."

Medical marijuana patients argued that the limitations will restrict their access to collectives.

The City Attorney's Office did not immediately comment.

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