Plan Would Scatter Area's Marijuana Clinics

  Plan Would Scatter Area's Marijuana Clinics

Posted by CN Staff on February 25, 2005 at 07:49:21 PT
By Karen Holzmeister, Staff Writers 
Source: Daily Review 

Coming soon — maybe — to a community near you: medical marijuana clinics. After four months of study, Alameda County this week unveiled a plan to spread marijuana dispensaries throughout unincorporated areas and to tightly regulate their operations. The proposed ordinance would eliminate at least two of the seven existing medical marijuana clubs, clustered in Ashland and Cherryland, that have remained open since October, when county supervisors slapped a temporary ban on new clubs in unincorporated areas.
The moratorium, already extended once, expires Monday. Supervisors will meet Monday to extend it once again — perhaps through the end of the year — while the new proposal is reviewed. County leaders and local residents were split over the changes, while the owner of one marijuana-sales outlet saw pros and cons. "I'm glad the county came up with the ordinance, so we can try to put this behind us," said Tony Cassini, partner at We Are Hemp dispensary in Cherryland. "I agree with being spread out because being close doesn't benefit any of us. But I worry about the patients, everywhere around us, and how something like this will affect people who have to walk (to buy their marijuana)." The county ordinance would limit marijuana sales to five locations, where individuals or organizations selling cannabis would compete for available permits. Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland and San Lorenzo each would have one sales site. The last locale would be somewhere in a lineal slice of Foothill Boulevard, traveling north to south, and encompassing Hillcrest Knolls, Fairmont, Fairmont Terrace, El Portal Ridge, and  slivers of Ashland and Castro Valley. A permit for each location would be issued for two years, with the county sheriff's department taking the lead in investigating applicants, regulating ongoing operations and issuing permit renewals. While current club operators would get first crack at staying in business, possibly at a different location, none would be guaranteed one of the permits. "When it comes to medical marijuana dispensaries, this is a good approach to regulating them," said county Supervisor Nate Miley, whose fourth supervisorial district cuts through several unincorporated communities. He pledged that the quality of life in each community would not suffer with the addition of such a business, adding that people who use marijuana as medicine need to be able to buy it near where they live. The ordinance limits dispensaries to business or commercial districts. Dispensaries also must be at least 1,000 feet away from each other and 600 feet away from schools, parks or playgrounds. Five clinics are too many for the unincorporated area, which spans 10 large and small communities in the vicinity of Hayward, Kathie Ready of San Lorenzo said. She questioned whether clinics adequately check the identities or prescriptions of people who want to buy marijuana. "I voted for Proposition 215 (which allows medical marijuana sales with doctors' orders) for people who are ill, not people who see an ad in the newspapers for and get a prescription," she explained. By comparison, Oakland has four marijuana sales outlets and Hayward has two, although one is operating outside of city purview. County Counsel Richard Winnie, who developed the ordinance  along with other county administrators, said dispensaries are spread along geographical and population lines. More than 130,000 people live in these unincorporated areas. He also described the 20-page document as "comprehensive." It outlines how applications would be reviewed, what information would have to be provided by applicants, criteria on which permits would be issued or rejected and operating rules. If areas had more eligible applicants than permits available, a drawing could be held. Clinics would not be allowed to grow marijuana on the premises and would be limited to 20 pounds of marijuana on-site at any one time. The proposed ordinance also sets out guidelines for suspending or revoking permits. Supervisors will meet at 1 p.m. Monday at the County Administration Building, 1221 Oak St., fifth floor, Oakland, to  extend the ban on new medical marijuana clinics. The medical marijuana sales ordinance will be discussed at 6:30 p.m. March 23 at the county's Unincorporated Services Committee, 377 Paseo Grande, San Lorenzo. Karen Holzmeister covers Castro Valley, the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, and county government for unincorporated areas. Note: County proposal also more closely regulates medical pot operations.Source: Daily Review, The (CA)Author: Karen Holzmeister, Staff WritersPublished: Friday, February 25, 2005Copyright: 2005 MediaNews Group, Inc.Contact: revlet angnewspapers.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Medicinal Cannabis Research Links Clubs Stir Up Residents, Backers Puts New Pot Clubs on Hold

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Comment #3 posted by FoM on February 25, 2005 at 10:33:04 PT
Thanks. I fixed the spelling of available.
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Comment #2 posted by siege on February 25, 2005 at 10:27:07 PT

avail-able permits
where individuals or organizations selling cannabis would compete for avail-able permitsHere we go big money has it in the bag they pay off the city officials and get the permits here is where the DEA STEPS IN and SELLS low grade medical marijuana.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 25, 2005 at 08:44:40 PT

Related Article from The San Francisco Chronicle
Regulation Sought for Pot ClubsRachel GordonFriday, February 25, 2005 Nearly three dozen medical marijuana clubs operate in San Francisco, but city officials have yet to regulate them. That may change. This week, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi requested a hearing to discuss issues and policies related to Proposition S, the 2002 voter-approved measure that directed the city to explore growing and distributing pot for medicinal uses. Specifically, Mirkarimi wants the hearing to focus on licensing medical marijuana clubs, regulating them through zoning restrictions and setting up consumer protection guidelines. Supervisor Bevan Dufty held a similar hearing in 2003 to look at the city's options. "I want us to get a handle on the growing number of clubs in San Francisco,'' Mirkarimi said. "Now the city has a complete hands-off policy.'' And that may be for good reason. Growing and distributing marijuana, for medical use or not, still isn't allowed by federal authorities and could put the city at legal risk. "Does Mirkarimi remember it's still 'The George Bush Show'?'' remarked one city official following the local twists and turns of medical marijuana. Mirkarimi is well aware of the concerns, but said it's worth seeing what, if anything, the city can do to move the issue forward. Not only does he think it would be beneficial from a consumer standpoint to have standards in place, but the city also may be able to cash in through licensing fees or tapping into the distributors' profits, he said. Tens of millions of dollars reportedly change hands in the local medical marijuana clubs, which Mirkarimi described as a growing cottage industry. Dial "M'' for mayor: So a hacker got into the list of phone numbers stored in celebrity Paris Hilton's cell phone and posted them on the Internet. Included in the cache was Mayor Gavin Newsom's cell phone number -- not that the mayor is likely to answer when it rings. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people already have his mobile number, and he's become adept at screening calls with a quick glance at the caller's number. More newsworthy than his cell phone number would be if Newsom's home number had been publicized. Unlike his predecessor, Willie Brown, Newsom's home phone isn't listed. And he's not alone among the city's elected officials. Snipped:Complete Article:
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