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Pot Shops Ban In Grass Valley Extended To 1 Year


Nug of the Month: Aug 2008
A moratorium on medical marijuana shops was extended to one year during a Grass Valley City Council meeting Friday.

The council had enacted a 45-day moratorium April 28 after police Chief John Foster requested the emergency ordinance, telling council members crime has escalated around other marijuana dispensaries in California.

At the April meeting, council members said they did not want a full-fledged ban and asked Foster and city staff to come up with rules and regulations about medical pot shops in case anyone applied to open one. Since then, an application for a medical marijuana business license has been turned into Foster, but it has not been formally filed with the city.

Foster requested an extension on the moratorium Friday, telling the council members his staff needed more time to create a regulatory ordinance. The extension would be for 10 months and 15 days; Foster said he didn't think additional time would be needed beyond that.

Carole Chapman of Americans for Safe Access, a Grass Valley resident, was one of only two people who addressed the council during the very lightly attended meeting.

"I'm sorry to hear you're extending the moratorium," she said. "I think this is something the city needs."

Both Mayor Lisa Swarthout and Vice Mayor Jan Arbuckle pressed Foster for a quicker end to the moratorium, possibly within four months.

"I'd like to bring this matter to a closure, depending on staff time," Foster said. "It's my hope to get this done as quick as possible."

"The quicker we get something on the books, the better," Swarthout said.

Councilman Chauncey Poston asked Foster to look into whether a medical marijuana dispensary could only be located within a medical office building.

"That would cut down on the fears about crime, if it was not in a downtown retail area," he said.

Proximity to schools and traffic issues were some of the main concerns Swarthout had received, she said, adding that issuing use permits might be the most appropriate way to regulate the dispensaries.

In the end, the council voted unanimously to extend the moratorium, although Swarthout reiterated that she didn't believe it would be in place for the entire year.

After the vote, Chapman said she was "fine" with the extension.

"The sooner, the better," she said. "This will help the community; we need the revenue."

News Hawk- Ganjarden 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: TheUnion.com
Author: Liz Kellar
Contact: TheUnion.com
Copyright: 2009 TheUnion.com
Website: Pot Shops Ban In Grass Valley Extended To 1 Year
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