Palm Desert tightens its ban on medical marijuana

Palm Desert tightens its ban on medical marijuana

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Buy Photo Palm Desert has tightened its reins on medical marijuana, adopting an ordinance that strengthens its current ban on dispensaries while adding a moratorium on cultivation and delivery. The city already has a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in place, but tightened its regulations ahead of California’s Senate Bill 643, the “Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act” of 2015 – or MMRSA – which goes into effect Jan. 1. The California legislation would require all marijuana cultivators, processors, testers, distributors and delivery services to be licensed by the state as well as local jurisdictions that have ordinances in place. To avoid the state having sole control, cities and counties have until March 1 to adopt their own ordinances, getting tough laws on the books now knowing they can revisit and loosen them later on. The La Quinta City Council has a similar ordinance coming before it Tuesday while Indian Wells is expected to take it up in January. Both cities already have ordinances banning marijuana dispensaries, as does Rancho Mirage. Rancho Mirage also allows for delivery to residents with prescriptions for medical marijuana by city-licensed businesses and will not be adopting anything new, City Attorney Steve Quintanilla said. Palm Desert passed its ordinance 4-1 on Thursday with Councilwoman Susan Marie Weber voting no. Weber questioned the March 1 deadline by the state, saying the city adopted its plastic bag ordinance earlier this year because California lawmakers vowed a statewide ban would go into effect in July 2015. At the last minute, the statewide ban was delayed to at least the end of 2016. “I have absolute confidence that our city has been able to coordinate the running of our city no matter what state laws come down,” Weber said. “So, in that case, I am going to vote […]

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