Santa Maria CA: Law Prohibiting Medical Marijuana Dispensaries To Be Toughened

Discussion in 'Medicinal Marijuana' started by Monterey Bud, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. Monterey Bud

    Monterey Bud Administrator Staff Member


    Santa Maria city officials are considering toughening local laws that already prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries within city boundaries.

    The dispensaries are now kept out of town by an ordinance that prohibits businesses considered a nuisance, said Wendy Stockton, senior assistant city attorney.

    They also are kept at bay by a law that prohibits business licenses for businesses that violate California state or federal laws, she said.

    The business license law, though, has proven to be an “uncomfortable situation for us legally,” because the state does allow dispensaries in certain circumstances, she said.

    But a recent California Supreme Court ruling clears the way for cities to more specifically outlaw dispensaries.
    In the May 7 ruling, the court unanimously upheld the authority of local governments to ban medical marijuana dispensaries.

    California’s Compassionate Use Act and Medical Marijuana Program allow patients and their designated caregivers to cultivate cannabis through collectives without being criminally prosecuted or violating local nuisance ordinances.
    But the court concluded that nothing in the law limits the “inherent authority” of localities to regulate the dispensaries with land-use language.

    As a result of the ruling, Stockton said, she is proposing that zoning laws prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries.
    Stockton will present the new language to the city’s planning commission in its Thursday study session at 10 a.m. at the city’s planning offices, 110 S. Pine St.

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