Oakland City Council Expected To Approve Measure To Regulate Medical Marijuana Clubs
The Oakland City Council is expected to approve a plan to reduce the number of medical marijuana clubs in the city from 12 to four, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The measure was co-sponsored by City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente to help the city "take responsibility for regulating marijuana use that has impinged on other businesses downtown," the Chronicle reports. It would require that all existing medical marijuana clubs apply to the city for a license and would close those that did not receive a license. The measure would prohibit clubs from making "excessive profits," allow the city to review their financial records and require the clubs to disperse because of a city law that requires medical marijuana vendors to be 1,000 feet apart. The measure also would restrict the amount of marijuana a patient can possess to eight ounces and six mature plants and would prohibit patients from smoking marijuana in the clubs where they purchase it. Opponents say they will put an initiative to repeal the measure on the November ballot (Zamora, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/4).
KQED's "California Report" on Tuesday reported on the measure. The segment includes comments from De La Fuente and Kenny Mostern, spokesperson for the Uptown Merchants Association, a coalition of businesses providing medical marijuana (Campbell, "California Report," KQED, 2/3). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.
In related news, a store selling medical marijuana in Roseville opened on Jan. 22, just weeks after a new state law (SB 420) to permit approved patients and caregivers to grow the plant was enacted, the Sacramento Bee reports (Campos/Wiener, Sacramento Bee, 1/31). SB 420 stipulates that state residents can possess no more than eight ounces of dried marijuana -- or 12 immature or six mature live plants -- for medical purposes. It also creates a voluntary photo identification card system for people who legally can use or dispense marijuana under state law. The law directs the Department of Health Services to develop the program and requires county health departments to certify applicants' eligibility for the IDs; it also clarifies who is allowed to use medical marijuana under Proposition 215, the 1996 ballot initiative allowing state physicians to recommend marijuana to sick patients (California Healthline, 1/29). Store owner Richard Marino said, "People need a safe environment where they can get their medical marijuana, so they don't have to get it on the streets, and they can get quality for a reasonable price" (Sacramento Bee, 1/31). However, Richard Meyer, a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent in San Francisco, said that federal law prohibits the cultivation, sale and possession of marijuana and supersedes state law, adding that the store could be shut down "at any time," the AP/San Diego Union-Tribune reports (AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/2).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.