License sought for medical marijuana shop in Plymouth

May 25, 2004

Jim Reece, Amador Ledger Dispatch

The Plymouth City Council on Thursday will discuss and possibly act on zoning and regulation law regarding the operation of medicinal marijuana distribution centers in city limits, as requested by applicants for such a shop there. Steven R. Alvidrez, a legal analyst from Sacramento, is acting with power of attorney for Mike Koll, of Plymouth, in Koll’s application for a business license to operate a medicinal cannabis dispensary in Plymouth. The application was submitted last Thursday and Alvidrez said he requested the council talk about new regulations to enable their licensing.

According to a copy of the application, Koll is seeking to open a medical marijuana distribution center at 18594 Highway 49 in Plymouth.

Both Alvidrez and Koll said Monday that this would be their first try at operating a legal marijuana business. Koll plans to own and operate the business.

“Our primary objective is to dispense the pot - marijuana,” said Alvidrez. “It won’t be a coffeehouse. Mike wants it to be more sterile.” He said there would be no space for using marijuana at the center.

“In my opinion, nothing bad could come out of this,” Alvidrez said. “The bottom line is, we need to keep the medicine away from those who don’t have a prescription to use it.” He said people now can only buy marijuana illegally. “Theoretically, it may help reduce crime and generate tax revenue.”

Alvidrez said the 1996 state-wide approval vote on the “Compassionate Use Act,” which legalized medical marijuana, also defined the grower of the crop as someone a person could designate as their “primary caregiver.”

“I don’t plan on doing growing or any of that stuff,” Koll said.

“I know there’s people that need it in Jackson and Pioneer and everywhere,” he said, of his assessment of the market.

Alvidrez said the law also stipulates that the state attorney general supply guidelines for operation, while the municipality will address local law. He said they plan to follow all regulations.

On Thursday, the council will discuss and possibly act on an ordinance adding to municipal code “operational restrictions on and requiring a regulatory permit to operate a medical cannabis dispensary within the city of Plymouth,” the agenda states. The ordinance would define such a dispensary and rezone light industrial and industrial zoning to include the dispensary and to make it “immediately effective as an urgency ordinance.”

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