Elk Grove City Council Approves Restrictions on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Despite opposition from some residents, the Elk Grove City Council last week voted 4-1 to impose some restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries that could open in the city, the Sacramento Bee reports. Under Proposition 215, a state law decriminalizing the possession and cultivation of marijuana for medical treatment recommended by a doctor, the city is required to permit the opening of dispensaries. Council members and the city attorney had said they do not condone the use of medical marijuana, and some residents said they feared an increase in crime if dispensaries are opened in Elk Grove. The Bee reports that council members would have been forced to allow the dispensaries without any limitations if they had not imposed the urgency ordinance. "Our hands are tied under Prop. 215. I think we're obviously in a world that is more and more accepting of drugs into our lives, unfortunately," Michael Leary, city council member and Elk Grove Sheriff's Department sergeant, said. The restrictions include the prohibition of use and cultivation of marijuana on the premises, a ban on the sale of drug paraphernalia, the removal of waste twice per day and a requirement that dispensaries perform drug tests on employees. In addition, dispensaries must be located in areas that are zoned for commercial use and are at least 1,000 feet away from any school; hours must be limited from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; property owners within 1,000 feet of a dispensary must be notified at least 30 days prior to the approval of the dispensary's business license; names and addresses of all suppliers of medical marijuana must be named on the business license application; no alcohol can be kept on the premises; and the Elk Grove Police Department must approve dispensaries' safety and security plans (Kolber, Sacramento Bee, 4/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.