CITY ATTORNEY’S IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS
Allowing and Regulating Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Medical marijuana dispensaries are currently not permitted in the City of Solana Beach because they are not a permitted use in the City’s zoning code. This ordinance, if approved by a majority of voters, would amend the City’s zoning code to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the City, subject to certain location and operating requirements. The ordinance permits medical marijuana dispensaries in non-residential zones appropriate for commercial, manufacturing, industrial or retail sales. The ordinance also requires dispensaries to be located at least 600 feet from K-12 schools, 600 feet from playgrounds, and 1,000 feet from another dispensary.
The ordinance requires dispensaries to comply with certain operating requirements, including the use of a licensed security guard, security cameras and alarm, limited hours of operation, and no consumption of marijuana or sale of alcohol on the premises. The ordinance allows dispensaries to provide marijuana to qualified patients under the age of 18 if accompanied by a parent or guardian. The ordinance requires the City to issue a permit for any dispensary meeting the location and operating requirements, and if its directors pass a criminal background check. The ordinance also requires dispensaries to impose a 2.5% sales tax on the retail sale of marijuana, as long as there is no state sales tax imposed specifically on medical marijuana. The ordinance provides immunity from arrest, prosecution and seizure of marijuana for qualified patients and dispensary personnel.
It is unresolved whether the ordinance is preempted under federal law.
A “yes” vote is in favor of amending the City’s existing zoning code to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in non-residential zones, and according to certain operating procedures. A “no” vote is against amending the City’s zoning code, which would leave in effect the City’s prohibition on medical marijuana dispensaries.
Johanna Canlas, City Attorney
City of Solana Beach
The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure W. If you desire a copy of the ordinance, please call the elections official’s office at 858-720-2400 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.