San Diego City Council Votes to Legalize Pot Cultivation, Manufacturing and Testing With Cap of 40 Businesses City-Wide

by on September 12, 2017 · 20 comments

in Ocean Beach

Zapf Votes Against Measure to Allow Pot Industry Local Supply Chain

The San Diego City Council voted 6 to 3 Monday evening to legalize marijuana cultivation, manufacturing and testing within city limits and voted to create a total cap of 40 such businesses for the city.

This historic vote will set up regulations allowing a full cannabis industry and local supply chain including farms, manufacturing plants producing pot products and testing facilities – including one such facility in Ocean Beach.

Authorizing a local supply chain for certified dispensaries adds to the local economy, helps to create jobs, helps the environment by not forcing pot businesses to truck product in from other places. This is what the Council majority said (Alvarez, Bry, Cole, Gomez, Kersey, Ward).

However, Lorie Zapf, the District 2 representative, was not in that majority. She voted to oppose these measures to regulate an industry that has been around for 50 years (along with Cate and Sherman). The majority talked about de-incentivising that “black market” that’s been around for those 50 years, of trying to prevent one from expanding into cultivators and manufacturers.

The crowd at the City Council hearing. This and others are screen captures from 7SanDiego.

Speaking of allowing a legalized local supply chain, Councilwoman Barbara Bry said:

“If we don’t allow all parts of the supply chain in San Diego we are merely enabling a large black market. San Diego consumers are counting on us to provide them a safe product.”

It all made sense to him, said Councilman Chris Ward:

“Having sound policy and regulations in place will allow the city to enforce its rules and assist the cannabis industry in regulating itself. Would we tell Stone Brewery that we wanted them to manufacture everything in Riverside County and truck it down? Would we tell Ballast Point they can only grow their hops up in Humboldt?”

This vote – which goes into full effect January 1 along with the laws Californians voted in with Prop 64 last November – pushes San Diego into a short list of other cities in the County that allow cannabis dispensaries, Lemon Grove and La Mesa.

Speaking of Prop 64, it requires testing of for-sale marijuana, and testing requires testing facilities. So, the Council also voted to allow testing establishments in the city. Zapf also opposed this part of the proposals.

One of the bigger victories for the local marijuana industry during the Council vote is their rejection of the staff recommendation of allowing only 2 of these businesses per council district and instead voted for setting a cap of 40 for the entire city.

Another staff recommendation the Council rejected was a rule prohibiting such businesses from opening within 100 feet of each other or dispensaries.

The City already allows legally approved medical marijuana dispensaries to expand their sales to recreational customers from a Council vote earlier this year. Eleven of the city-approved 17 such businesses have begun operating.

OB’s own Becca in the crowd at the City Council hearing.

Pot facilities will be required to be at least 1,000 feet from public parks, churches, childcare, libraries, residential care facilities, and schools; as well as at least 100 feet from homes.

Besides Zapf, Sherman and Cate, the opposition to these regulations was led by out-going Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, who was concerned with dangers and threats to public safety, concerns that are not outweighed by any   new tax revenue from the pot industry, she warned. She said:

“The negative consequences and secondary effects of the legal marijuana industry being allowed to operate on a larger scale in our city of San Diego are enormous. I urge you not to allow any further marijuana facilities within our city.”

Zimmerman also stated the city’s certified “legal” pot dispensaries generated 272 calls for service from police for burglaries, robberies, thefts, assaults and shootings.

Councilwoman Lorie Zapf – who represents Ocean Beach and the rest of the beaches – claimed she joined Chief Zimmerman in her concerns. She said:

“I think we should listen to our police chief. We were elected if nothing else to oversee public safety and we’re just absolutely going down the wrong road.”

That’s a funny argument. Zapf uses the fact that she was elected to argue against allowing Prop 64 to be implemented in the city – after the city voters voted to allow recreational pot.

Zapf also accused supporters of the new pot regulations only being in favor because they’re involved in the industry.

In another tack, saying, “I know what’s going on with teenagers,” Zapf expressed her concern that high school students are frequently “high” in class.

Councilwoman Bry came back and said that marijuana is not a new phenomenon on high school campuses.

That’s true, it’s been on local Point Loma High for 50 years.


David Garrick San Diego Union-Tribune



{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie September 12, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Lorie Zapf is playing a dangerous game; OB voted for Prop 64 by 81.2%, PB by 73,3% and Mission Beach by 70.9%.


Frank Gormlie September 12, 2017 at 12:32 pm
kh September 12, 2017 at 9:00 pm

I agree. Her duty is to represent her constituents. If she think she knows what’s best for us then she needs to have that dialogue with us first before she votes contrary.


Molly September 12, 2017 at 3:01 pm

Maybe Lorie is banking on all the pot smokers not to vote.


Frank Gormlie September 12, 2017 at 3:06 pm

Ah,… they did vote, in OB 81+% for Prop 64.


OB Mercy September 12, 2017 at 3:04 pm

Really Zapf and Zimmerman? (Sounds like a law firm!) If you’re so against such a benign drug that really helps people, why does Vice Squad keep approving EVERY damn alcohol tasting room in OB?! We’re over saturated with that by 300% and Vice has the FINAL SAY!

Alcohol is the demon here, not pot. Pot in high school? The horror!! She has her head buried in the OB sands. Don’t EVEN tell me she NEVER did even a puff back in high school! She can’t be that much younger than me and we were ALL doing it back in ’72 when I graduated. I heard from a friend older than me that it used to be called POT LOMA HIGH!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and I truly hope she sees it. FUCK ZAPF! When the hell can we get you OUT OF OFFICE?!

Other than that, I have no strong feelings about all this, lol.


Ol OB Hippie September 12, 2017 at 3:09 pm

Maybe they didn’t smoke pot in Clairemont High – or wherever she went to high school. But wait! Clairemont High was the model for “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”.


embo September 15, 2017 at 6:01 pm

Oh, we smoked plenty of pot at Clairemont High!


retired botanist September 12, 2017 at 4:47 pm

well said, OB Mercy- just CANNOT abide the hypocrisy – at the federal or state level! The alcohol license board can run amok with a 300% over-serve of alcohol licenses in OB ( …and check those DUIs while you’re at it), yet the voter-approved legalization of recreational marijuana meets people like Lori Zapf…continually! I challenge anyone who has ever had a beer, glass of wine, or mind-calming substance, including any anti-depressants, mood-altering, or otherwise legal or ‘sanctioned’ prescriptions/substances to speak otherwise!
And that’s just the recreational perspective: If you aren’t informed, check out some of the very promising research with CBDs (uh, that would be efficacy without the buzz in case you’re judgemental…Lori). Well known facilities, like the Scripps Cancer Research Group, are collaborating with physicians who treat cancer patients’ symptoms alternatively w/ CBDs.

In short, climate change has more than one meaning. Get on board, Lori, or go represent some other community that doesn’t embrace equality! :-)


PL Local September 15, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Still call it Pot Loma or Joint Loma


Frank Gormlie September 12, 2017 at 3:08 pm

Right on. Although the Little Miss brewing didn’t open. PLHS was called Pot Loma for awhile and there was a giant pot bust before school in the parking lot of the religious building across the street back in 1968.


Ol OB Hippie September 12, 2017 at 3:12 pm

I’m getting real tired of all these sanctimonious politicians who think they know better than the rest of us. Zapf here, Bonnie Dumanis and the rest of the Board of County Sups, and LA has them too, I’m sorry to report that Mark Ridley-Thomas , a stalwart progressive for decades, wants to slow down the opening of pot businesses in LA.


OB Joe September 12, 2017 at 3:14 pm

Well, at least there has been some real progress in this backward neck of the Calif woods. Thank you Barb Bry, Dave Alvarez, Geogette Gomez, Kersey and Chris Ward for sticking up for the voters of the city.

And Zapf – you better start looking for a new job.


Nanci Kelly September 12, 2017 at 3:42 pm

I would like to know how the link between dispensaries, and generating “272 calls to the police for service for burglaries, robberies, thefts, assaults, and shootings,” has been established by Police Chief Zimmerman. Please comment if you have this information. Did these occur at the dispensaries? Did individuals leave the dispensaries and make a beeline to commit these crimes? Within what period of time were these calls made – a month, a year? And, within that same period of time how many calls were made reporting the same crimes that were related to alcohol sales (which OB Mercy highlighted in her comment)? I hear Councilwoman Zapf refer to issues of public safety with regard to marijuana (and prior to that with the beach camera installations), however I have never heard her refer to actual research or statistics when she makes these “public safety” decisions – nor did she respond to the research and statistics that I took the time to compile and send to her during the camera debate. Our elected representatives are responsible to base their decisions on consideration of (1) public opinion, combined with (2) facts, research, and statistical data. I repeatedly see both of these ignored in District 2. This is another case of irresponsible representation.


Nanci Kelly September 12, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Oops, my unplanned rant made me forget the main reason I was commenting – In the paragraph at the bottom right of the photo of Becca it says, “Besides Zapf, Sherman, and Ward…” Isn’t that supposed to be Zapf, Sherman and Cate?


Frank Gormlie September 12, 2017 at 9:36 pm

Yes, you’re right and I made the correction, thanks.


Tyler September 13, 2017 at 10:09 am

Less use of the word pot, more of the word cannabis.


Frank Gormlie September 13, 2017 at 10:55 am

You didn’t like my phrase “plants producing pot products”? But you’re right. I used it in the headline for space reasons.


jettyboy September 13, 2017 at 10:57 am

I suggest people do a little quick research on the crime question. I did. It took less than 5 min. to find out that crime rates are lower or the same when dispensaries open in a neighborhood. Much lower than around stores that sell alcohol.
So once again Police Chief Zimmerman is lying through her teeth, attempting scare tactics like she constantly does. She is a fuckin’ lier interested only in her political future. As for Councilwoman Zapf, people in OB already know she lies, or obfuscates any direct question put to her.


Frank Gormlie September 13, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Thanks for pointing this out, jettyboy. It was what she didn’t say that Zimmerman misrepresented the reality about liquor stores vs dispensaries.


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