Medical Marijuana Shop Proposed for Citrus Heights

December 15, 2004

, KXTV - News 10

Citrus Heights planning officials have approved the city's first medical marijuana dispensary. Mary Jennifer Berg plans to open the shop in the 6200 block of Greenback Lane, just east of Auburn Boulevard.

Following several months of discussion and a two-hour public hearing, city planning commissioners on Thursday voted to grant Berg a conditional use permit.

The application process includes a 10-day public comment period, which began last Thursday. Berg must now apply for a medical cannibis dispensary permit, essentially a business license, from the city manager.

Last June the Citrus Heights City Council passed an ordinance allowing medical marijuana shops, provided they meet a variety of conditions.

Those conditions require that the business be sited no closer than 1,000 feet from schools and parks. There must be an operating security alarm system with extensive exterior lighting. Dispensary proprietors must have a law enforcement background check. The marijuana can only be sold to Citrus Heights residents.

In 1996, California voters passed the Compassionate Use Act, a measure allowing patients to use marijuana for medical reasons with a doctor's prescription. Federal law considers marijuana an illicit drug under any circumstances. Currently the U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing a California case, Ashcroft v. Raich, based on the state law.

If a judicial ruling goes against local dispensaries, the Citrus Heights ordinance allows the city attorney to ask for a hearing on any such dispensaries.

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