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Deming Medical Marijuana Dispensary Must Apply for Special Use Permit

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Those seeking to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Deming must now apply for a special use permit.

During its regular meeting on Monday, city of Deming councilors added the distribution of medical cannabis to its list of establishments that would require a special use permit to open within the city.

No potential distributors have applied to open shop, but the vote does come on the heels of discussion among the council of a family from Hawaii who have expressed interest in opening a local dispensary.

"It's not zoned by right, therefore it needs a stricter level of review," Premal Patel, city planner, said of the special use distinction. "The main reason is to allow you, as a citizen, me as a citizen and everyone else to address the city council and planning and zoning to help the city council make a decision."

Normally, businesses not on the special use list have the right to follow the standard procedure for acquiring a business license and other permits necessary to open a new business. The special use list includes 19 types of businesses that would have to follow the special use procedure to open. Among the types of businesses featured on the list are adult book or video stores, auction houses, salvage yards, kennels and automotive body shops.

"First of all, they make an application, then the planner reviews the application and looks at the area and the use," Patel said of the special use permitting process. "Then we make notice in the paper and also send out letters which will give people notice to come in and say any objections or support for the applicant."

The council has final say in the permit approval.

The state has 11 non-profit dispensaries located in Harding, Dona Ana, Cibola, Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties. The first dispensary was approved in March 2009.

According to the New Mexico Department of Health, as of May 2011, there were 3,615 medical cannabis users in New Mexico, with 23 of which located in Luna County. The most common affliction for which marijuana is prescribed is post-traumatic stress disorder, accounting for 1,355 users.

Currently, there are 16 qualifying conditions that make a patient eligible for the program. The eligible conditions include severe chronic pain, painful peripheral neuropathy, intractable nausea/vomiting, severe anorexia/cachexia and Crohn's disease, among others.

During an April council workshop, Councilor Linda Enis -- who sits on the Cancer Support of Deming-Luna County board -- said marijuana is used as an alternative when other medications do not help the issues associated with some conditions. Mayor Andres Silva said he feels marijuana should be administered by a pharmacist.

The state is currently in the process of considering additional conditions to be eligible for medical marijuana. The next public hearing is scheduled for May 25 in Santa Fe. Citizens can petition the state by sending their name, address, telephone number, the new condition request, proposed benefits, relevant medical conditions and other information by May 11. For a full detail of the petitioning process, visit NM Department of Health and follow the links for the medical marijuana program.

The medical marijuana program began in the state in 2007.

News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
Source: lcsun-news.com
Author: Matt Robinson
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: MediaNews Group
Website: Deming medical marijuana dispensary must apply for special use permit
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