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Scotts Valley Leaders to Discuss Banning Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

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A proposed ordinance to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in Scotts Valley also would prohibit deliveries to patients' homes, meaning they'd have to travel to Santa Cruz or Felton to obtain it.

Anyone found to be in violation of the ordinance would be charged under the city's public nuisance regulations, according to Susan Westman, the city's interim community development director.

A little more than a year ago, Scotts Valley resident Scott Gates approached city officials about opening The Healing Clinic Cooperative, which would offer medical marijuana as well as hypnotherapy, acupuncture and grief counseling services.

Soon after, the council adopted a moratorium on dispensaries so staff could take some time to investigate the issue and determine what effect the cooperatives have had on the communities where they're allowed.

In December, two months before that moratorium expired, Gates approached the council about his proposal. During that meeting, Police Chief John Weiss expressed concern that dispensaries would raise crime-related issues in the city, including robberies.

"I always err on the side of caution," he said Tuesday, adding that other cities have reported people "gaming the system" for illicit purposes and money-laundering raids at their own establishments.

City leaders ultimately directed staff to prepare an ordinance prohibiting the cooperatives. Meanwhile, City Manager Steve Ando denied Gates's
application, and council members upheld that decision when he appealed in mid-February.

In early February, the ordinance came before the Planning Commission, which recommended it to the council.

Included in that ordinance was language that prohibits deliveries. City attorney Kirsten Powell was not available for comment Tuesday. If approved, the ordinance would go into effect on April 6.

Meanwhile, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors agreed on Tuesday to schedule a public hearing on April 12 on an ordinance that sets regulations for dispensaries in unincorporated parts of the county.

News Hawk- Jacob Husky 420 MAGAZINE
Source: mercurynews.com
Author: Kimberly White
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: San Jose Mercury News
Website: Scotts Valley leaders to discuss banning medical marijuana dispensaries, land transfer
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