Wikimedia commons/D. Ramey Logan.
Long Beach City Council unanimously voted on Tuesday to create laws allowing for the centers, which have been ousted from Long Beach over the last year thanks to a citywide ban. A group seeking to overturn that ban lost an appeal to a federal judge on Monday, leaving city council as one of the last options to increase cannabis access in the city.
Council will move forward with a plan – originally slated for an April citywide ballot – on their own, including capping the number of dispensaries and regulating how many can operate within the city’s various council districts.
“Our city needs the same authority as other cities and states to regulate this substance in plain, public view,” Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal told the LA Times. “Right now, I think we have an obligation to consider what 30,000 residents believe is a worthwhile ballot issue.”
This isn’t the first time that Long Beach has tried to regulate dispensaries. In 2009 the city created a lottery system to dole out a limited number of permits. Thirty-two shops made the cut, but a group of dispensary owners challenged the lottery in court and had the entire system overthrown.
In response, the city outright banned all medical marijuana facilities.
Long Beach officials will now work with the Planning Commission to draft language allowing for the dispensaries.