Marin cities scramble to review medical pot policies before state law kicks in

Marin cities scramble to review medical pot policies before state law kicks in By: Richard Halstead (rhalstead@marinij.com) Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015 – 5:44 p.m. Cities and towns throughout Marin and much of California are scrambling to prepare for a trio of new state laws regulating medical marijuana that take effect Jan. 1. The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, which consists of AB 243, AB 266 and AB 643, will create a statewide licensing system for the commercial cultivation, manufacture, retail sale, transport, distribution, delivery and testing of medical cannabis. The League of California Cities has cautioned that some municipalities must quickly enact bans on the cultivation of medical marijuana; otherwise, beginning March 1, the state Department of Food and Agriculture will become the sole licensing authority for medical marijuana cultivation applicants. In addition, the league has advised all municipalities that under MMRSA if they want to prohibit the delivery of medical marijuana that they must adopt an ordinance expressly prohibiting delivery services; otherwise, delivery will be allowed with a state dispensary license. The league says municipalities that employ a “permissive” zoning code might not have to ban cultivation; nevertheless, it is recommending that all municipalities do so to avoid possible confusion and litigation. Permissive zoning codes list all uses that are permitted within a given district; all other uses are presumed to be prohibited unless stated otherwise. Advertisement Medical marijuana dispensaries are prohibited in all of Marin’s 11 municipalities, but not all cities and towns have an express ban. The city of Belvedere and the town of San Anselmo, for example, both prohibit dispensaries under the principles of permissive zoning. Following the league’s recommendation, the Belvedere City Council voted Dec. 14 to adopt a resolution affirming its prohibition of marijuana cultivation and sale under permissive zoning. The council decided to take no action on delivery of medical marijuana. David Nolen Swaim Owner Tam Realty Inc DRE-1070789 609 San Anselmo Ave San Anselmo CA 94960 415-710-5504 www.tamrealty.com

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