CA Assembly Approves Medical Marijuana Dispensary Zoning Bill

The CA Assembly approved Sen. Correa’s bill SB 847 to prohibit the location of dispensaries near residential zones by a vote of 68-5.

This bill would prohibit a marijuana cooperative, collective, dispensary, operator, establishment, or provider from being located within a 600-foot radius of a residential zone or residential use unless a local ordinance, which may be more or less restrictive than the standard, is passed by the city council or county board of supervisors specifically regulating the location of these establishments in relation to residential zones or residential use.

The bill does not pre-empt local ordinances already in effect as of Jan 1, 2011.

However, it includes a mischievous provision declaring:

SEC. 2. The Legislature finds and declares that establishing standards regulating the proximity of medical marijuana cooperatives, collectives, dispensaries, operators, establishments, or providers is a matter of statewide concern and not a municipal affair.

It is not clear from its wording whether SB 847 applies to the location of collective gardens, or only to their offices and storefront operations. In private meetings, Sen. Correa is reported to have indicated that cultivation sites are not included, but verbal assurances from politicians can’t be trusted unless they’re in writing.

Cal NORML applauds the Assembly members who voted against SB 847, who include: Tom Ammiano (SF), Wes Chesbro (N. Coast), Jared Huffman (Marin), Bob Wieckowski (Fremont), and Mariko Yamada (Davis).

SB 847 needs to go back to the State Senate for concurrence.

– D. Gieringer, Cal NORML

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