Medical Marijuana Regulations – County Board to Vote on Ordinance

On June 23, 2010 at 9am at 1600 Pacific Highway (Room 310) in San Diego, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors will be voting on a proposed ordinance that would regulate medical marijuana collectives and cooperatives in the unincorporated areas of San Diego County.

READ THE ENTIRE AGENDA ITEM AND PROPOSED ORDINANCE DETAILS HERE:

http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/bos/supporting_docs/062310ag01w.pdf

Items 1 and 2 will be voted on by the Board of Supervisors on June 23 and Items 3 will be voted on June 30th.

SDCountySeal(1) “AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE SAN DIEGO COUNTY CODE TO ADD TITLE 2, DIVISION 1, CHAPTER 25 ADOPTING REGULATIONS RELATING TO MEDICAL MARIJUANA COLLECTIVE FACILITIES”

(2) “AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE ZONING ORDINANCE REGARDING MEDICAL MARIJUANA COLLECTIVE FACILITIES”, AND

(3) “AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE ZONING ORDINANCE TO PROHIBIT NON-MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES WITHIN THE UNINCORPORATED AREA OF THE COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO”

Please come out to the meeting and to support the adoption of an ordinance that includes sensible patient regulations. The Planning Commission after input from patients at it’s last meeting recommended that instead of the 1000 feet distance originally proposed by the county staff, that medical marijuana collectives with a be 500 feet from residential zoned properties, 600 feet from specified sensitive land uses and 1000 feet from other established medical marijuana collectives.

The commission’s recommendations also recommended that all medical marijuana collectives fully comply with American With Disability Act.

These Land Use regulations allow for a limited number of facilities to open in the unincorporated areas and will require the Sheriff to be in charge of issuing permits to the collectives. The permits are estimated by the County Staff to cost anywhere between $15,000 – $20,000 per collective on administrative fees alone.

Please come out on June 23 to urge the Board of Supervisors to reduce all the distance requirements to no more then 500 feet from “sensitive” uses and to not force a medical issue to be regulated by the police. The Health Department should be involved in oversight rather then the Sheriff which would not only place the issue where it belongs, but also significantly reduce the administrative overhead the county will encounter with regulating these facilities.

Please contact the board of Supervisors today and voice your concerns: http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/general/bos.html

SDSupervisors

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING: ORDINANCES AMENDING THE ZONING ORDINANCE AND SAN DIEGO COUNTY CODE RELATING TO MEDICAL MARIJUANA, POD 09-007 (DISTRICTS: ALL)

OVERVIEW:

On August 5, 2009 (6) the County Board of Supervisors adopted an interim urgency ordinance enacting a moratorium on the establishment of medical marijuana facilities. The interim urgency ordinance was adopted to allow County staff the time needed to study how medical marijuana facilities should be permitted and determine the appropriate regulations for such uses.

As a result, amendments to the San Diego County Code of Regulatory Ordinances are proposed to add a new chapter to provide licensing and operational requirements relating to the establishment of medical marijuana collective facilities. This action will also add new language to the County Zoning Ordinance regarding the siting of medical marijuana collective facilities.

The ordinances are intended to implement the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and the State Medical Marijuana Program Act by establishing reasonable and uniform regulation and licensing requirements that will allow qualified patients and primary caregivers to collectively or cooperatively cultivate marijuana for medical purposes, and at the same time protect the public health, safety and welfare of communities, within the unincorporated county.

Additionally, on June 23, 2009 (20), the Board of Supervisors directed the Chief Administrative Officer to amend the Zoning Ordinance to prohibit illegal, non-medical marijuana dispensaries from operating within the unincorporated area of the county. This action includes Zoning Ordinance amendments responding to this direction.

FISCAL IMPACT:
The adoption of the regulatory ordinance will result and create an additional workload for the Sheriff’s Department. The staffing implications and increased workload are due to the inspection and verification requirements of the new proposed regulation. Depending on the size of the collectives in the unincorporated areas of the county, staff anticipates a minimum of 60 additional staffing hours per week to handle the number of verifications and inspections at cultivation sites. This will necessitate the need for one additional Deputy Sheriff and one Licensing Specialist. Funds for this request are not budgeted, but as part of a funding source, it is the intent of the Sheriff’s Department to develop a processing fee which includes a full cost recovery. Fees for the implementation and process of this regulation could range between $15,000-$20,000 per collective.

Department of Planning and Land Use costs associated with increases in building permit submittal would be covered by existing building permit fees. Therefore, Department of Planning and Land Use staffing needs are not expected to increase.

BUSINESS IMPACT STATEMENT:
The ordinances propose amendments to the Zoning Ordinance and County Code of Regulatory Ordinances which would include regulations pertaining to the siting of Medical Marijuana Collective Facilities. Pursuant to State Attorney General Guidelines for the Security and Non-diversion of Marijuana Grown for Medical Use (Attorney General Guidelines), these facilities are required to operate in a non-profit capacity. Therefore the adoption of this ordinance would not have a fiscal impact to County businesses.

RECOMMENDATION:
CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER
On June 23, 2010:
1. Find that the project as proposed complies with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and State and County CEQA Guidelines because the amendments can be found exempt from CEQA per Section 15308 and 15061(b)(3) of the CEQA Guidelines (Attachment D) and;

2. Approve the introduction of the proposed San Diego County Code amendment (first reading), read title and waive further reading of the following ordinance (Attachment A):

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE SAN DIEGO COUNTY CODE TO ADD TITLE 2, DIVISION 1, CHAPTER 25 ADOPTING REGULATIONS RELATING TO MEDICAL MARIJUANA COLLECTIVE FACILITIES
If, on June 23, 2010, the Board takes actions recommended in Items 1 and 2, then, on June 30, 2010:
1. Adopt the attached Form of Ordinance (Attachment B);

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE ZONING ORDINANCE REGARDING MEDICAL MARIJUANA COLLECTIVE FACILITIES

2. Adopt the attached Form of Ordinance (Attachment C);

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE ZONING ORDINANCE TO PROHIBIT NON-MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES WITHIN THE UNINCORPORATED AREA OF THE COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO

3. Submit the Ordinance (Attachment A) for further Board of Supervisors consideration and adoption (second reading).

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE SAN DIEGO COUNTY CODE TO ADD TITLE 2, DIVISION 1, CHAPTER 25 ADOPTING REGULATIONS RELATING TO MEDICAL MARIJUANA COLLECTIVE FACILITIES
PLANNING COMMISSION

On May 14, 2010, the Planning Commission, by a vote of 5 in favor, 0 opposed, 2 absent, recommended the adoption of the Zoning Ordinance amendments regulating medical marijuana collectives with a recommendation that the buffer requirements be amended to be 500 feet from residential zoned properties, 600 feet from specified sensitive land uses and 1000 feet from other established medical marijuana collectives. The Zoning Ordinance Amendment has been revised to reflect the Commission’s recommendation. A second motion recommending that staff consider requiring all medical marijuana collectives fully comply with American With Disability Act requirements passed by a vote of 4 in favor, 1 opposed, 2 absent.

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