Santa Rosa Council Votes To Prevent Openings of New Pot Clubs
Santa Rosa City Council members on Tuesday voted 5-0 to pass a moratorium that prevents new marijuana clubs from opening for the next 45 days, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports. The council rejected an emergency ordinance that would have limited the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in Santa Rosa to two.
The council also imposed interim rules on the clubs: customers at the dispensaries will not be allowed to use marijuana inside or within 150 feet of the clubs, club operation hours will be limited and customer loitering or harassment will be banned, the Press Democrat reports.
The council said it will form a committee comprising medical marijuana advocates, police officers, council members and residents to study dispensaries and draft regulations regarding the location and operations of the clubs. The committee will report to the council within 60 days, and at that time the council will take further actions, which could include a citywide ban on marijuana clubs.
"I think we all realize there is a need for medical marijuana. Unfortunately, that's been abused," Janet Condron, a member of the council, said.
Council members also said they would pursue sanctions against the dispensary Resource Green Caregivers and Patients Group after receiving complaints of inappropriate behavior from neighbors. The council will proceed with the sanctions after an ordinance on the clubs is drafted, City Attorney Brien Farrell said (Payne, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 4/6).
The Modesto City Council on Tuesday voted to extend a moratorium on opening new marijuana dispensaries until at least February, the Modesto Bee reports. The council previously approved a 45-day moratorium on March 8.
Council members heard testimony from medical marijuana advocates before voting on the extension, which passed 6-0.
City officials already are drafting an ordinance to ban marijuana clubs in the city. According to City Attorney Michael Milich, the proposal will be discussed within the next few months at a meeting of the city's Safety Committee (Milbourn, Modesto Bee, 4/6).
In related news, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors rejected a proposal to study medical marijuana taxation, the Press Democrat reports.
The proposal was introduced by Supervisor Jim Wattenburger. "If it's going to be legal, then it has to be regulated," he said.
However, some supervisors questioned the county's authority to levy taxes on medical marijuana since it is an illicit substance. Supervisor David Colfax added, "The county has enough to do at the moment" (Anderson, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 4/6).