Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Sacramento Face Urgency Ordinance

“The county does not have any existing zoning laws that allow for this kind of business to operate,” said Sacramento County spokeswoman Chris Andis. “This is ‘step one’ toward creating rules and regulations for these kind of businesses. We want to create a careful planning process that balances the needs of the neighboring communities, the dispensaries and the medical patients.”
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Earlier this week, the Sacramento board decided to revisit a previous urgency ordinance. The ordinance would be able to codify the right for medical marijuana dispensaries in Sacramento to operate, according to the Rosemont Patch. It would also allow patients to grow their own medicine. These are all activities that are legal under California Prop 215, but these companies have been operating against building and zoning codes or in uncharted territory, depending on which story you’ve heard.

Our Riverside medical marijuana attorneys understand that these companies that are operating in unincorporated areas are currently conducting business without any specific set regulations.

“The county has had their hands in this for a long time,” said Mike Kiano, operator at AMF. “They’ve watched this steady spread of dispensaries happen day-to-day for two years now. They had to have known that eventually it would leak into unincorporated areas, because there are people there who need our services too.”

Records show that there are nearly 50 open code enforcement cases on dispensaries that are located in unincorporated areas of the county.

There are at least three dispensaries in the area have received notices that they are violating county zoning laws.

The local government looks to regulate the system, meaning that individual patients would not be allowed to grow their plants outside. If they were to grow them inside, they would have to do it in a structure that was at least 100 feet from all property lines and 600 feet from things like school bus stops, according to The 420 Times.

Dispensaries would be subject to similar rules. They would not be able to sell any “drug paraphernalia” or edible medicine. They will also be under distance requirements. Any dispensary that is looking to operate legally would also have to remain far from schools and churches and 300 feet from any residence.

Medical marijuana dispensaries in the area fear they’ll end up like dispensaries in San Diego, where nearly all of them have been forced to relocate in industrial areas, which are difficult, dangerous, or just plain impossible for many patients to travel to.

The Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyers at the CANNABIS LAW GROUP are offering legal assistance to medical marijuana dispensaries and collectives throughout the Los Angeles area. Call 714-937-2050 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:

Sacramento County Dispensaries Get Reprieve, The 420 Times
Supervisors Delay Action on Pot Ordinance, by Katrina Tupper, Rosemont Patch

More Blog Entries:

Glendale City Council Forces Outright Ban on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in City Limits, Marijuana Lawyer Blog, June 28, 2011

Montel Williams to Open Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Sacramento, California, Marijuana Lawyer Blog, June 22, 2011

Battle Continues Between Government Officials and Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Los Angeles, Marijuana Lawyer Blog, June 18, 2011