Council to Debate Marijuana Regulations

By Stephen Hadland

Observer Publisher

The Culver City Council will be discussing the various options and regulations regarding the legal cultivation, sale and use of marijuana within the city limits of Culver City.

In November the voters approved Proposition 64 which allows the adult use of marijuana.

The discussion of Options available to the city under the 2015 Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act will be discussed with direction to the city manager to develop regulations and how to proceed forward.

Among the questions the council will be asked to address are should marijuana businesses be permitted in the City? If the council supports this move they will be required to amend the Culver City Municipal Code which currently prohibits all types of marijuana businesses.

The council may also opt to amend the municipal code business tax certificate provision and the Zoning Code to permit marijuana businesses with the following options to be discussed:

1. Medical Marijuana businesses recognized under MCRSA will be permitted under a regulatory scheme.

2. Commercial Indoor Cultivation

3. Commercial Outdoor Cultivation

4. Manufacturing

5. Testing facilities

6. Distributors/Transporters

7. Dispensaries

8. Retailers

9. Testing facilities

10. Distributors/Transporters

11. Microbusinesses

Council members will also be dealing with zoning restrictions, required permits, limits on the number of marijuana outlets and on-site consumption.

In 1996 when voters approved the use of medical marijuana in California the City of Los Angeles experienced an explosion of clinics within the city. Over 500 clinics were in operation when Los Angeles realized that the issue needed regulation and controls. Many of the clinics were clustered around local high schools. Locally Hamilton High on Robertson had dozens of medical marijuana clinics in close proximity to the school. Ultimately the voters in Los Angeles approved a cap on the number of clinics at 130 in 2013. Many however are still operating illegally below the radar of the Los Angeles City Attorney.

Potential criminal activity is also a concern as Marijuana is still a Class A drug under federal law. Marijuana clinics have been barred from obtaining bank accounts as the use and sale is still a violation under federal statutes. This results in marijuana clinics having large amounts of cash on hand and has become easy targets for the criminal syndicates of our society.

Processing of the permits will also be addressed. Should the city permit various marijuana operation will the permits be issued on a first come, first served basis or will the city develop a lottery system.

Regulating deliveries of marijuana will also be an issue before the council whether or not to allow the businesses to operate inside the city limits.

Personal and business cultivation farms need to be explored and zoning regulations need to be reviewed.


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