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Chula Vista Councilmembers Consider Allowing Medical Marijuana Collectives

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CHULA VISTA, CA. — Two council members who serve on the city's public safety subcommittee agreed with City Manager Jim Sandoval's recommendation to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, but both indicated they may consider allowing collectives that meet strict regulations.

Councilwoman Patricia Aguilar and Councilman Steve Castaneda have both said they sympathize with severely ill patients who use medical marijuana and believe in legitimate compassionate use.

However, both are opposed to for-profit dispensaries operating in the city.

The city manager's office issued five recommendations Wednesday night.

They were:

  • Do not permit medical marijuana dispensaries.
  • Do continue to allow conventional patient/caregiver medical marijuana distribution.
  • Do continue to allow medical marijuana delivery service.
  • Allow staff to develop regulations for delivery service and caregiver distribution
  • If council members desire to further consider medical marijuana dispensaries, further public outreach and study would be necessary to evaluate the extent of community need, impact on neighborhoods and whether or not there exists an acceptable model of operation with matching legally defensible regulations.

Castaneda and Aguilar said they would be in favor of adopting the recommendations, but both stressed studying the issue further to determine if nonprofit collectives could be allowed and regulated in the city.

"My baseline litmus test is that they have to meet the Attorney General standards for nonprofit collectives," Castaneda said. "That is why I'm vehemently opposed to allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in Chula Vista."

"In speaking to a number of doctors and seriously ill patients, I am persuaded that medical marijuana can help some individuals in the relief of pain," he added.

Many spoke in favor of allowing the dispensaries, including Daniel Green who first applied for a permit to operate a medical marijuana facility, sparking the current moratorium.

"When this issue first came up, my thinking was: we just can't take this on, it would be too much," Aguilar said, referring to the low staffing levels in the Chula Vista Police Department. "But after hearing testimony from people at the last two Public Safety Subcommittee meetings ... there is a measure of compassion here for those people."

If Chula Vista's current moratorium expires, dispensaries could crop up quickly, as they have in San Diego and Los Angeles, and without any adopted regulations in the city's municipal code.

The matter will come before a full council vote in upcoming weeks.

News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
Source: signonsandiego.com
Author: Wendy Fry
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: San Diego Union-Tribune, LLC
Website: Chula Vista councilmembers consider allowing medical marijuana collectives
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