Santa Monica News
Santa Monica Extends Dispensary Moratorium
By Michael Lambrose
Oct 29, 2012 - 3:27:11 PM


On October 23, the Santa Monica City Council voted to continue a 45 moratorium on the “approval of any land use entitlements, business licenses, or any other license or permit for medical marijuana dispensaries.” The City Council voted to extend the moratorium, which was adopted on October 2, 2012, for another 10 months and 15 days.

City Council documents state that the initial moratorium was passed because of the complexities surrounding the medical marijuana issue in Santa Monica.  The City Council stated that because of the uncertainty of the California law due to federal intervention, lack of local regulations, and the alleged negative social effects experienced by other cities, it would be prudent to adopt a moratorium concerning the issue until these issues are addressed.  For example, the moratorium cited the California Police Chief’s Association April 2009 “White Paper” which stated that many violent crimes in the state are a result of the increased number of marijuana dispensaries.

During the moratorium, the City Council plans on reviewing studies on the possible negative effects of marijuana dispensaries in neighborhoods and examine how other cities have implemented local regulations on the industry.  One possible avenue towards regulation that City Council plans exploring is finally including dispensaries in the city’s Zoning Ordinance.  The maximum that this ordinance can be extended is 22 months and 15 days, allowing ample time for the City Council to review the nuances of the issue. 

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