Sacramento County temporarily bans medical marijuana shops

September 20, 2004

Cameron Jahn, Sacramento Bee

Sacramento County officials on Tuesday agreed to a 30-day ban on medical marijuana shops to give themselves a month to decide how to regulate sales of the drug.

Following the lead of other local governments, the Board of Supervisors agreed to the ban on medicinal cannabis dispensaries in order to devise a plan to keep neighborhoods, store owners and residents safe, officials said.

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A new state law allows primary care physicians to administer marijuana to patients with a doctor's prescription, but local governments across the region have found themselves largely unprepared to handle the growing number of requests to open cannabis dispensaries.

That's because most local zoning codes do not yet have a category for medical marijuana dispensaries.

Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Roseville and Auburn have passed moratoriums similar to Sacramento County's, and other cities are still considering their next move. Rocklin banned marijuana sales outright.

Advocates of medical marijuana said dispensaries are no different than pharmacies and should be regulated as such.

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