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Pot Shops Banned

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San Bernardino County residents who live in the unincorporated areas of the county and are licensed to grow their own medical marijuana will have to do it indoors now. And medical marijuana dispensaries are on the block now that the board of supervisors approved changes to the county's land use code during a hearing on April 5.

After two divisive planning commission hearings where over 100 people testified either for or against "banning" medical marijuana use in San Bernardino County, the board of supervisors unanimously approved the changes.

The newly adopted ordinance bans medical marijuana dispensaries and relegates the cultivation of medical marijuana to indoor locations. Licensed medical marijuana users will only be permitted to grow their own if it is grown in a secure, locked and fully enclosed structure with solid walls, a ceiling, a roof or top.

Medical marijuana can continue to be used at state licensed hospitals and other facilities, such as rehabilitation centers that provide diagnostic services and extensive medical treatment and have an organized medical staff. The facilities must have inpatient beds and equipment and facilities to provide complete healthcare in order to qualify. Rehabilitation centers may also have access to medical marijuana and licensed caregivers may be allowed to provide it to their at-home patients.

Jan Werner, the vice president of the company that owns and operates Budmart, the medical marijuana dispensary that opened this year in Skyforest, reacted with dismay to the supervisors' vote, and predicted a drawn-out court battle against it.

"It's unfortunate they're trying to prevent patients' safe access to cannabis," Werner said. He said his firm's attorney has informed him that the county's Code Enforcement Division has already issued cease-and-desist orders to at least 12 marijuana dispensaries, and that appeals have been filed against them in court.

"He feels like we do that the county is acting illegally and against our state constitutional rights," Werner said of the lawyer. "It looks like it's going to be drawn out in court. I hate to say it."

Throughout two planning commission hearings, medical marijuana users pleaded with county officials to allow them access to their medicine and bemoaned the fact that having to grow their crop inside is extremely expensive due to the amount of electricity it takes to cultivate the crop.

Although the State of California allows medical marijuana dispensaries, David Wert, the county's public information officer, said medical marijuana dispensaries have never been allowed under the county's code.

"All dispensaries are subject to enforcement action regardless of when they opened," he told this newspaper.

According to San Bernardino County law, a marijuana dispensary is described as any facility or location, whether fixed or mobile, where marijuana is cultivated, made available, and/or distributed by or to three or more people including a primary caregiver, a qualified patient or a patient with an identification card.

The new ordinance becomes effective 30 days from the date it was adopted, which in this case would be May 5, 2011.

News Hawk- Your Name 420 MAGAZINE
Source: mountain-news.com
Author: Joan Moseley
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: Mountain News
Website: Pot Shops Banned
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