City Council Approves New Regulations for Pot Shops

Dispensaries will soon be able to sell medicinal marijuana legally in San Diego

By Sean Hillier and Christina London
|  Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014  |  Updated 9:02 AM PDT
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NBC 7's Gene Cubbison reports the latest details involving the San Diego City Council's debate over medical marijuana and an ordinance over whether to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries.

NBC 7's Gene Cubbison reports the latest details involving the San Diego City Council's debate over medical marijuana and an ordinance over whether to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries.

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Dispensaries will soon be able to sell medicinal marijuana legally in San Diego.

With a vote of 8-1, the San Diego City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday that will regulate the city’s medical marijuana dispensaries.

The ordinance will limit pot dispensaries to industrial and commercial areas. In addition, the shops will have to be at least 1,000 feet from places like schools, parks, churches, nursing homes and other marijuana dispensaries.

There can also be no more than four pot shops in each council district.

“This ordinance provides clear and fair rules which will result in access to medical marijuana for legitimate San Diego patients and safeguard neighborhoods from negative impacts associated with dispensaries,” Interim Mayor Todd Gloria said in a statement.

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Eugene Davidovich with "The Alliance for Medicinal Access" says this ordinance allows dispensaries to prove they can be good neighbors.

"There is a procedure and a established guidelines to do so and what we're going to see if folks coming into compliance with that process," Davidovich said.

However, not all San Diegans are in favor.

Scott Chipman with "San Diegans for Safe Neighborhoods" argues the decision will create more problems for the city.

"This is not going to reduce teen access. It's not going to reduce negative messages teens are getting that marijuana shouldn't be use and there's no evidence the city is ready to regulate these," Chipman said.

His organization plans to meet Wednesday with the city's planning director.

He says the group's members are determined to hold the city officials responsible if serious compliance issues arise.

“I see that there’s no reason to have confidence in this city to establish a scheme that would work. That is the biggest problem,” he said.

The ordinance now must get approval from the California Coastal Commission, which is expected within 90 days.

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