San Diego’s plan to allow local cultivation, manufacturing and testing of marijuana took a key step forward with the recent unveiling of proposed regulations for those activities.
Leaders of the local marijuana industry are praising San Diego for being among a small group of California cities willing to allow a local marijuana supply chain in addition to permitting storefronts selling the drug.
But they also criticized the proposed regulations as too strict, particularly a rule capping the total number of cultivation and manufacturing businesses at two per City Council district — or 18 maximum in the city.
In addition, some said zoning restrictions that outlaw dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools, parks and other sensitive uses shouldn’t apply to cultivation and manufacturing sites because there is no public access to them.
Others said the city releasing only a summary of the proposed regulations, instead of the full text, has left many unanswered questions, including what will happen to a handful of businesses already engaged in cultivation and manufacturing with tacit city approval.
Industry leaders also expressed frustration that Council President Myrtle Cole has postponed a July 31 hearing on the new regulations to Sept. 11.
The delay was requested by local cannabis consultant Lani Lutar and Mickey Kasparian, head of a new umbrella labor group known as the Working Families Council.
Lutar said the goal of the delay is ensuring new regulations help San Diego maximize tax revenue and the economic boost of marijuana legalization, and that the regulations prioritize working families, the environment and the safety of residents.
Jeff Murphy, the city’s planning director, said the delay jeopardizes the city’s ability to have its regulations in place before new state rules for the marijuana industry — both