New Medical Marijuana Collective Regulations Go Before Long Beach Planning … – Gazette Newspapers

Third time could be a charm when City Ordinance 5.91 is presented to the Planning Commission tonight (Thursday) as a way to potentially regulate medical marijuana collectives.

Previously the city attorney’s office drafted the original regulation ordinance 5.87 and then a ban ordinance 5.89. The Planning Commission was directed by the City Council late last year to come up with a new ordinance to regulate medical marijuana collectives, including where they could be located and how many should be in the city.

The basic tenets of 5.91 include:

• Collectives are required to get a conditional use permit.

• Collectives must submit an application detailing a security plan, background checks, nuisance abatement measures and record management and retention plans.

• Collectives must be contained within industrial zones.

• There only can be two collectives per City Council district and no more than 18 collectives operating total.

• Collectives must be 1,000 feet away from other collectives; 1,000 feet from elementary and junior high schools; 1,000 feet from parks; and 1,500 feet from high schools.

There are many more details included in the draft ordinance, Assistant City Attorney Mike Mais said, including specific security and accounting regulations.

“It’s fleshed out there, so there are more details,” he said. “When we make our presentation to the Planning Commission, we understand we have to start somewhere. We want input from the public and the commissioners.”

Early concerns for a new law during prior public discussion have included worries that some districts will be excluded from having any collectives because of their lack of industrial zoning and conflicts with the other buffers.

A lottery system came under scrutiny during the first regulation ordinance, but this time city staff has prepared a specific point system to deal with conflicts — although a tie could still lead to a one-off lottery-type outcome.

“We wanted something that wasn’t the lottery, but had a chance to rank two collectives competing (for the same area),” Mais said.

The bottom line is, he added, that city staff expects and wants more direction for the ordinance. The Planning Commission will not be voting on it Thursday evening.

“I hope we have a good core ordinance and it is just a matter of tweaking it,” Mais said.

He said he’d estimate those tweaks wouldn’t take much more than a month, and then the Planning Commission would likely engage in a final vote that would pass a recommendation to City Council for its own set of meetings.

The Planning Commission will have its public meeting at 5 p.m. tonight (Thursday), April 17, at City Hall in City Council Chambers.

Jonathan Van Dyke can be reached at [email protected]

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