New Pot Dispensary Rules for San Diego: One of OB’s Own Will Have to Move

by on February 26, 2014 · 6 comments

in California, Civil Rights, Culture, Economy, Environment, History, Ocean Beach, San Diego

medical-marijuana Editor:  The San Diego City Council just passed new zoning rules allowing for medical marijuana dispensaries to legally open throughout the City.  The new plan only lets about 4 dispensaries for each of  the city council districts.

One of the zoning rules is that the dispensaries cannot be within 1000 feet of each other – or schools, playgrounds, etc. This will mean that one of OB’s pot dispensaries on Voltaire Street will need to move as they are definitely within that limit currently.

The new rules must go before the California Coastal Commission for final approval – which is expected in 90 days.

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria stated:

“This ordinance provides clear and fair rules which will result in access to medical marijuana for legitimate San Diego patients and safeguard neighborhoods from negative impacts associated with dispensaries.”

By Tony Perry / LA Times

SAN DIEGO — After years of wrangling, delay and study, the City Council on Tuesday approved a zoning plan that will allow less than three dozen medical marijuana dispensaries within the city.

The plan will allow no more than four dispensaries in each council district.

With one of nine districts already off-limits because of the density of its housing, that would allow a maximum of 32 dispensaries for a city of more than 1.3 million.

The plan presented to the council, developed after months of meetings, would have allowed 131 dispensaries spread throughout the city, according to a study by the San Diego Assn. of Governments.

That would have been less than half of the 271 that the same agency said would have been possible under a 2011 zoning plan that was adopted and then rescinded that same year by the council when pot advocates mounted a petition campaign because they said it was too restrictive.

After the 2011 ordinance was rescinded, the city was left without a zoning ordinance that would allow for pot dispensaries.

Reviewing the proposed zoning plan, Councilwoman Lorie Zapf said it would bunch too many dispensaries in certain neighborhoods. She offered an amendment limiting to four the number of dispensaries in each district.

The plan, generally, only allows dispensaries in certain industrial and commercial locations.

The zoning plan, adopted in an 8-to-1 vote, says that dispensaries cannot be within 1,000 feet of schools, libraries, churches, parks, child-care facilities, and drug and alcohol rehab facilities. No marijuana vending machines will be allowed, and dispensaries cannot be close to residential areas.

By comparison, the 2011 ordinance would have kept dispensaries 600 feet from schools, parks and certain other areas.

The vote came after hours of emotional testimony by advocates and opponents.

Acting Mayor Todd Gloria said the plan strikes a balance between providing access to medical marijuana for patients and “safeguarding neighborhoods from negative impacts associated with dispensaries.” It includes provisions for the plan to be reviewed in coming years to determine if pot dispensaries have caused problems.

The zoning plan must be approved by the Coastal Commission, although city staff said they expected approval to be obtained within 90 days.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Tyler February 26, 2014 at 11:13 am

Anyone watch the hearing yesterday on the San website. Scott Chipman is crazy. There were a couple crazies on both sides, though, to be fair.

These restrictions are ridiculous. And shame on Zapf for putting a cap on the number that can operate in a district at 4. It’s going to create a de facto oligopoly for those that get permits AND will dramatically increase wait times.


SaneVoice February 26, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Scott Chipman is a shill, just in the game to make money. The scary part is that him and Faulconer are buddy/buddy.


Frank Gormlie February 27, 2014 at 11:42 am

Seriously? Send us backup.


John Filthy February 27, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Chipman is a beach alcohol ban advocate as well. Byron Wears pet cause before it was Kevin Faulconer’s.


John Filthy February 27, 2014 at 7:27 am

Scott Chipman has been on his anti-dispensary crusade for years in PB. He gets money from the San Diego Prevention Coalition and others. They choose their battles more wisely these days though. The Chipman-SD Prevention Coalition crew have been so overwhelmed by community opposition at some meetings that they have left without speaking. Never seen that happen to the pro-medical cannabis side.

The Republicans have always been scared of losing this battle because they see it as the front of the drug war. Lose this and people might question their authority to fear monger, spend wheel barrows of money on advertising, law enforcement, courts, and imprisonment. NO! Not the private prison industry! The most precious of cash cows.

Never forget Ashcroft’s first action as attorney general was to go after Tommy Chong and bong sellers, including Zong Toy Company in OB.


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