Pubdate: Sun, 12 Dec 2010
Source: Record Searchlight (Redding, CA)
Copyright: 2010 Record Searchlight
Author: Alayna Shulman
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


Shasta County supervisors will consider extending a moratorium on 
medical marijuana dispensaries for another year in the county's 
unincorporated areas at a public hearing Tuesday.

In February 2010, supervisors enacted what became a series of 
moratoria on dispensaries, saying they wanted to wait for pending 
state court cases on medical marijuana regulations to settle before 
any new dispensaries were allowed.

The first moratorium, proposed by 2nd District Supervisor Leonard 
Moty, prevented use permits for dispensaries in unincorporated areas 
for 45 days.

The second, approved in April 2010, extended the original moratorium 
to February 2011.

But now, a 12-month moratorium is proposed because there has been 
little or no progress on these state cases, according to a staff reports.

Resource Management Director Russ Mull said no one tried to obtain a 
use permit before the first moratorium was approved.

"The one thing about dispensaries for Shasta County is that most 
dispensaries like to be sited where the urban population is, so the 
pressure to site them in the county hasn't been particularly intense," he said.

Mull said anyone who wanted a use permit would still have to wait six 
to eight months to obtain it, even without the moratorium.

Waiting to establish new ordinances on dispensaries also gives the 
county time to "consider, study and assess various approaches to 
regulating medical marijuana dispensaries," the staff reports says.

That means the county's primary approach is "watching other 
jurisdictions" to determine the best way to regulate dispensaries, Mull said.

At public hearings held in February, some medical marijuana patients 
argued that they should not be treated as criminals.

But other medical marijuana proponents are in favor of the moratorium.

Chuck Herring, a volunteer at River Valley Collective in Redding, 
said he doesn't think the drive to Redding is too far for patients 
from the county's unincorporated areas.

"I've heard of people driving two hours to go to Costco," he said. "I 
don't really see a difference."

Herring, 37, said he thinks regulations need to be strict to avoid 
illegal use of marijuana.

"It has to start somewhere," he said. "It can't just be a free-for-all."

If you go

What: Public hearing on moratorium for medical marijuana dispensaries

When: Tuesday, 9 a.m.

Where: Board of Supervisors chamber, 1450 Court St., Redding
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