Our Los Angeles marijuana lawyers have been following the developments out of northern California, where the city of San Leandro has issued a one-year ban on pot clinics.
This disappointing news comes as the City of Los Angeles is still weighing whether to issue a ban on medical marijuana here as well.
According to the San Jose Mercury newspaper, the ban was reportedly handed down as a “compromise.” The mayor had contended that essentially that they had to split the baby, as advocates on either side of the aisle were disappointed.
Medical marijuana advocates were upset that their access to legal medicine had been effectively stripped, while those who are anti-pot felt the measure should have been permanent.
This situation illustrates once again how officials are attacking medicinal marijuana from nearly every angle. For dispensaries and clinics placed on the offensive, hiring an experienced marijuana lawyer to protect your interests is an invaluable investment.
City officials say this ban in San Leandro will provide city leaders the opportunity to see how the pending court decisions unfold.
The courts – and municipalities – have essentially had split personality disorder when it comes to what kind of regulatory role local governments can take on.
The council in this northern California city was sharply polarized on the issue, and on how they should respond. A moratorium on new marijuana dispensaries was already in effect, and was set to expire on September 30. That meant the council was pressed to act about whether to allow the moratorium to expire, extend it or create an outright ban. It had already been extended twice.
They chose the latter, but with the stipulation that they would revisit the issue in a year. That may not sound like long to them, but for those patients who are suffering and must now either travel longer distances to obtain their medicine or be forced to forgo it altogether, a year is a very long time.
Still, it could have been worse. City staff had recommended that council completely and forever ban the sale of marijuana inside city limits. Instead, this ban will last until the end of June next year, at which time they will revisit the issue once again.
Those who were gunning for a total ban cited the police seizure of more than 17,500 plants (or roughly 280 pounds) since last year. About 85 percent of those were reportedly grown in residential neighborhoods, according to the police department, which also claimed the grow operations were to blame for a number of fires in the city.
However, the answer is not a ban or even tighter restrictions. It’s smarter regulation. Making clear what the rules are and then giving people the chance to follow it.
The CANNABIS LAW GROUP offers experienced and aggressive representation to the medical marijuana industry in Southern California– including growers, dispensaries and collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call 714-937-2050 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.