Backlash prompts retreat from cannabis dispensary expansion – The San Diego Union-Tribune


Complaints and criticism have prompted San Diego officials to back away in part from recent proposals to sharply expand where in the city dozens of new cannabis dispensaries can open.

Officials still propose nearly doubling the maximum number of dispensaries from 38 to 74. They also propose allowing them in many tourist and entertainment areas near mass transit where they are now prohibited.

The goal is giving people adversely affected by the war on drugs a chance to break into the industry. Because 35 of the city’s 38 existing dispensary permits have already been awarded, officials say a new cannabis equity program won’t work without expanding the number of dispensaries.

But many types of commercial zones in several city neighborhoods have been eliminated from a revised version of the proposal, including parts of Carmel Valley, La Jolla, Mission Beach and Old Town.

Officials have also retreated from plans to allow the 36 new dispensaries to operate anywhere in the city. Instead, to ensure they are somewhat spread out, officials propose to create three zones and allow 12 in each zone.

The zones — north, central and southern — would be defined for the most part as areas north of Interstate 8, areas between

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