Richmond, California Gives Medical Marijuana a Longer Leash
On Tuesday, 20th July 2010 the Richmond, California City Council voted to include an ordinance that relaxes the laws governing the sale of medical Marijuana, grown indoors, some of them using LED Grow Lights to save money. Mayor Gayle McLaughlin said 'I like the idea of having more, smaller dispensaries,' and the new ordinance most definitely supports that.
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July 29, 2010 (FPRC) -- On Tuesday, 20th July 2010 the Richmond, California City Council voted to include an ordinance that relaxes the laws governing the sale of medical Marijuana, grown indoors, some of them using LED Grow Lights to save money. Mayor Gayle McLaughlin said 'I like the idea of having more, smaller dispensaries,' and the new ordinance most definitely supports that.
The new ordinance does away with a clause previous included that marijuana dispensaries are not located within 1,000 feet of each other. The police department will also hand over the monitoring of the new permits to the city administrator who will oversee the process. Interestingly the draft ordinance’s original proposal limited the number of pot clubs to only allowing three within the city limits, however the new ordinance does not limit them.
The new ordinance does state that a marijuana dispensary may not be located within 1,500 feet of a high school or within 500 feet of a school where young children reside, a library or a community center. The dispensary may also only operate from an area that has been earmarked as a commercial zone.
The second reading of the new ordinance will be conducted next week and if approved, businesses who want to sell medical marijuana will have to apply to the city administrator for a permit. The application process is likely to be a long one as they will have to wait 30 days before submitting their application. The application has to prove the non-profit status of the organization as well as the criminal history of the employees who will manage the dispensaries. The public health department will also have to sign off the application before it will be accepted by the city administrator. Once the application has been submitted the city administrator will hold public hearings with property owners in a 750 foot radius of the proposed dispensaries before the permit will be issued.
While the Richmond Council is following through on the ordinance voting procedures, a few of the dispensaries currently selling marijuana have been taken to task by the Public Prosecutor. Some of the eight marijuana dispensaries in Richmond have received cease-and-desist orders as well as civil injunctions for operating without a proper permit. Even if the new ordinance is passed, the prosecution of these cases will still continue as voted by the council at a previous voting session.
Although the three hour long council meeting was stressful at times, laughter abounded too as many pot jokes were told, some even by the councilmen themselves.
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