Posted by Rebecca Saltzman
Malibu Planning Commission Votes to Allow and Regulate Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
by Don Duncan, California Director
On Tuesday, the Malibu Planning Commission rejected a recommendation by city staff to ban medical cannabis collectives and asked staff to return with a proposal to regulate as many as three facilities in the city. Commissioners heard from ASA representatives, patients, a doctor, and the attorneys for PCH Collective, one of two collectives operating in Malibu under the terms of the city’s two-year-old moratorium. The attorney for PCH Collective submitted a petition with almost four hundred signatures calling for regulations instead of a ban.
Several Commissioners questioned me about regulations in other cities, conflicts with federal law, sales tax, and other details following public comments. No one from the public spoke in favor of a ban.
The Commissioners debated the issues at length before settling on a motion calling for strict regulations based on the ordinance recently adopted in Claremont. They also opted to allow up to three collectives after debating the need to prevent a proliferation of collectives while preserving competition to keep prices in check. It is unclear how quickly staff will return a recommendation for an ordinance, but the city’s moratorium expires on June 25.
The operator and members of PCH Collective are to be commended for making a strong and professional showing at the hearing. They spent weeks lining up support and educating Commissioners. It was a text book example of effective organizing and advocacy. We can all be relieved that we are looking at one more city with regulations, and one less ban in California!
Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Dispensary Operator Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Charges
On Monday, Virgil Grant and Psytra Grant plead not guilty to federal charges for illegally operating six medical marijuana dispensaries and for committing money laundering. This followed the DEA raids last week of the six dispensaries in Los Angeles that the Grants are being tied to. All six dispensaries had registered with City of Los Angeles under its moratorium regulations.
Psytra has been released on bail, but Virgil is still in custody. Their trial date has been set for July 22.
Measure B Passes in Mendocino County, Lowering Plant Limits, but Final Votes Yet to Be Counted
Voters in Mendocino went to the polls on Tuesday to vote on Measure B, which would lower the plant limits for medical marijuana patients from 25 plants to the state limit of 12 immature or six mature plants and eight ounces of dried marijuana. The measure appeared to pass, with 52% of voters voting for the measure and 48% voting against it.
However, it was soon revealed that more than 10,000 absentee and provisional ballots had yet to be counted. The County Clerk said it could take up to 28 days for all votes to be counted so the final outcome of Measure B might not be known for some time. Also, if the measure does pass, advocates plan to challenge it in court, based on the recent ruling in People v. Kelly.