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Napa To Vote On Medical Pot Rules Tuesday


Nug of the Month: Aug 2008
After nine months of public hearings and staff analysis, an ordinance allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in the city of Napa will come before the City Council Tuesday night.

The council will hold a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall on an ordinance that would set tight rule for allowing one marijuana dispensary in the coming year, with the prospect of a second clinic later.

Last September, the council unanimously directed staff to prepare a medical marijuana ordinance after hearing testimony from locals who said cannabis helped them in ways that regular pharmaceuticals could not.

Police Chief Rich Melton warned that some cities had experienced increased crime around pot clinics. Others testified that cities with tight rules, such as Sebastopol, had suffered no negative impacts.

The smaller Upvalley cities have all rejected pot clinics, with the St. Helena City Council killing a proposal last week after hearing a last-minute upswell of public opposition.

In Napa, the prospect of a marijuana dispensary has generated relatively little controversy.

All five council members have voiced support for licensing and regulating an operator.

Councilmember Mark van Gorder cites the benefits that he received from marijuana when he was fighting cancer. For Councilman Peter Mott, medical cannabis greatly alleviated an associate's medical symptoms.

Napa's ordinance would allow operators to apply to operate a clinic in office or industrial zones. The city is setting out many pages of rules, including background checks and security provisions, that an applicant would have to meet.

The ordinance would allow someone with a physician's recommendation to grow marijuana at home for medical use. This provision is part of state law.

A nonprofit clinic could also arrange for growing to occur in a secure warehouse.

If an ordinance is adopted, city staff would sift through applications and recommend one operator to the council for approval.

The city would charge sufficient fees so that applicants paid all city costs to develop and implement the ordinance.

NewsHawk: Ganjarden: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: Napa Valley Register
Contact: Napa Valley Register
Copyright: 2010 Napa Valley Register
Website: Napa to vote on medical pot rules Tuesday
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