SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica City Council will meet with city staff on Wednesday, March 7 to conduct a study session on the impact of allowing local legal marijuana dispensaries within city limits in response to the voter backed California Proposition 64. Proposition 64 will allow the commercial sale of marijuana legal statewide on January 1, 2018.

Santa Monica, which does not currently allow the commercial sale of marijuana for either medical or recreational use, plans to hold a number of meetings to investigate the effect of licensing marijuana businesses to operate within city limits.

To complicate the issue, voters will choose from two local ballot measures Wednesday, Measure N and M, which offer competing visions for the future of recreational marijuana taxation and regulation.

While the consumption of marijuana will remain legal within the city in accordance with state law, local municipalities will retain the right to restrict or even ban the sale of the plant according to their discretion, and to “reasonably regulate” its possession and use among residents.

If the council concludes that the sale of marijuana will be permitted within the city, a timeline will be made available after the March 7 study session informing the public on the procedures and regulations required to obtain a commercial license.