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Sacramento County Bans Marijuana Dispensaries
After months of debate, Sacramento County has brought the hammer down on marijuana dispensaries.
The county board of supervisors voted Dec. 6 to update its zoning code to ban any land use that violates federal, state law or both, The Sacramento Bee reported.
The county planning commission opposed the move, but Interim Planning Manager Leighann Moffitt last week blamed that decision on "confusion" and concerns.
Only seven dispenaries are left open, with two more expected to close soon, Moffitt said.
After hearing numerous public comments, the board voted 4-1 to ban dispensaries. Supervisor Phil Serna was the sole dissenting vote, saying the zoning code amendment wouldn't change current county policy.
As soon as the item passed, several audience members erupted into protest.
50 cent blunts? Count me in!
Medical Marijuana Collectives Raided in MI
Three medical-marijuana businesses in the Traverse City area were raided this afternoon by state narcotics officers.
State police executed warrants at two locations of Collective Inc, and at M-22 Collective.
A spokesman in Lansing says the businesses are not operating within Michigan's medical marijuana law.
That law allows only registered caregivers to sell marijuana to a certain number of patients.
Dispensaries in Michigan have operated under the belief that the law also allows patients to sell the drug to other patients, but the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled this summer such businesses are not legal.
No one at the dispensaries could be reached for comment.
City officials say there are seven other medical marijuana businesses operating within city limits.
Riverside County OKs action against medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas
Already facing a potential crackdown by federal authorities, some Coachella Valley medical marijuana dispensaries must now contend with a new, local push to shut them down.
During its closed session meeting Tuesday, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors authorized its attorneys to sue any pot shops in unincorporated areas — plus any property owners who allow them to operate — unless those dispensaries immediately close.
Riverside County has prohibited medical marijuana dispensaries from operating on unincorporated land since 2006.
Last year, county supervisors briefly considered an ordinance that would have regulated these dispensaries but later stepped back and decided to uphold the ban.
Nonetheless, dozens of storefronts have sprouted in the unincorporated county in recent years, including a cluster of at least 11 dispensaries presently open in Thousand Palms, according to online dispensary locator WeedMaps.com.
County officials estimated as many as 47 in unincorporated areas last year, and they know of at least 36 such dispensaries.
Part of what has led to the county's medical marijuana boom are “vaguely written laws” on the state level, according to an October 2010 letter from County Counsel Pamela J. Walls to The Desert Sun.
Several owners of dispensaries who would be affected by the county's latest plan were unavailable or declined to comment late Tuesday.
Local patients and proponents of medical pot have endured several setbacks in the past few months.
The supervisors' unanimous vote Tuesday, according to a news release, was “buoyed” by last month's state appellate court ruling, which upheld the city of Riverside's ban on dispensaries.
That ruling followed an October announcement by the state's four federal prosecutors of a broad effort to close pot clubs, in particular, by sending landlords who rent space to pot dispensaries letters threatening to seize their property under federal drug trafficking laws.
The county's ban only applies to unincorporated areas, and Tuesday's action does not appear to affect Palm Springs — the only city in Riverside County to allow a limited number of dispensaries.
Outside of Thousand Palms, Palm Springs has the largest cluster of medicinal marijuana dispensaries, with at least 10 brick-and-mortar locations and a half-dozen delivery services listed on the WeedMaps website.
However, most of those locations are illegal under the city's ordinance regulating medical cannabis.
Palm Springs allows only up to three locations within its borders.
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