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Mayor Bob Filner's goal to improve access for patients in need of "compassionate use of medical marijuana throughout San Diego" just may be achieved if city councilmembers agree to adopt the Mayor's draft medical marijuana ordinance at a council hearing on March 25.

On Friday, Lee Burdick, the administration's Director of Legal Affairs and Special Projects, sent a summary of the ordinance to stakeholders to review.

The proposed initiative looks to ease the restrictions enacted in the previous ordinance adopted by council, and later repealed, in January 2011. It does so by opening zones that were previously off limits to dispensary owners as well as allow more competition between medical marijuana storefronts so that "patients can find the strain they need to alleviate their symptoms and to improve the quality of their lives."

Under the mayor's ordinance, dispensary owners would no longer need a Conditional Use Permit to sell medical cannabis. Instead, operators would only need to obtain a Neighborhood Use Permit issued by City staff. Operators would no longer be forced to keep their distance from churches, libraries, and childcare facilities. Separation requirements from schools, however, would remain and dispensares could not go in any building or mixed-use development where residential units are located. Medical marijuana vending machines would also be prohibited citywide.

Another major change listed in the draft ordinance is the enactment of a two-percent excise tax on all medical marijuana sales. In addition to the excise tax, dispensary operators would be responsible to pay $5,000 permit fee to the City of San Diego each and every year its doors are open.

Of course, the city council has the authority to make any changes it deems necessary. Burdick was sure to inform the stakeholders responsible for drafting the ordinance of that possibility.

"As before, there is absolutely no guarantee that Council will approve these zones or pass the ordinance, so any investment your constituents make prior to the passage of a final approved ordinance is at risk of loss or potential law enforcement," reads Burdick's email.

"Also...it is possible the Council might continue this item from the agenda on the 25th in favor of another more urgent item that is subject to a deadline. That has not happened yet, but it might at the discretion of Council President [Todd Gloria]."

Visit the website for San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access to read the executive summary.

Comments
3

In another act of compassion, Saturday morning Mayor Bob Filner announced that the City of San Diego will not be taking the Winter Emergency Shelter tent down at the end of the Fiscal Year. Instead the Tent will be funding year round.

Praise the Lord and Hallelujah for our new Strong Mayor Filner.

March 17, 2013

The draft ordinance requires a Neighborhood Use Permit, which is a discretionary permit, not ministerial. The decision will be made by staff and not a Hearing Officer. And the decision can be appealed to the Planning Commission.

March 17, 2013

Thanks for the help, DaveP! Story has been revised.

March 18, 2013

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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