Speaker: (singing) “…the green had done it. Medical Marijuana! Woo, woo, woo…” (applause)
It wasn’t even a full Sacramento city council meeting, but yesterday’s subcommittee hearing on a proposed medical marijuana ordinance still had its share of moments – like that song from one of the speakers during public comment. The ordinance would reduce the number of dispensaries within city limits from 39 to 12 and impose tighter restrictions on their size and location. One speaker who didn’t sing was Nathan Sands. He’s with a non-profit organization called the Compassionate Coalition.
Sands: “We are saying, yes, let’s put some reasonable limitations on them. Let’s make sure they’re safe. Let’s make sure they have good hours, let’s make sure they don’t become a negative secondary impact in our community. But I think we go too far when we try to set the limit at 12 and to not allow them in some of the areas where they’re needed.”
The committee voted to send the ordinance to the full city council to decide – or as one councilmember put it, essentially kicking the can down the road. But the city’s dispensaries would still be legal under the ordinance – unlike Sacramento County, which recently sent letters to its dispensaries telling them to cease operations. Carl Simpson, who runs the county’s code enforcement division, says nearby residents have complained – and some stores appear to have lied when applying for business licenses. And besides, he says …
Simpson: “This particular use – the dispensing of medical marijuana – there is nothing in the zoning code that permits that type of use to be initiated from a dispensary located within the Sacramento County unincorporated area.”
Nor in parts of Placer County outside city limits. Yesterday, their board of supervisors approved an outright ban on dispensaries.