S.F. Suburb Stops Short Of Banning Pot Dispensaries

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Despite a moratorium on the opening of any new dispensaries, beautiful Richmond, California still has safe access for medical marijuana patients — for now.

​East Bay city Richmond, Calif., will hold off on an outright ban of medical marijuana dispensaries, Katherine Tam reports in The Oakland Tribune.

City leaders in Richmond, an residential inner suburb of San Francisco, say they are still looking for a way to regulate dispensaries without exhausting police resources, “which should be focused on homicides and more serious violent crimes.”
Richmond officials plan to study other cities’ tactics as they weigh their options.
“See if there is a way to try to accomplish the goal of getting a convenient way for people to have access to medical marijuana in a way that doesn’t lead to constant drains of police resources,” said Councilman Jim Rogers.

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Photo: City of Richmond
Councilman Jim Rogers: “…Try to accomplish the goal of getting a convenient way for people to have access to medical marijuana”

​Rogers had initially proposed a complete ban on marijuana sales, and the forced closure of all dispensaries. Dozens of dispensary owners, medical marijuana patients, and health workers objected, pointing out that users would be forced to resort to the black market for their medicine.
Council members agreed to hold off for now on a ban. City staff members have been directed to study medical marijuana issues and report back with findings and recommendations.
According to the Tribune, Richmond’s already-instituted 45-day moratorium on new dispensaries, which expires on Jan. 15, will probably be extended.
Richmond is headed by Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, making it the largest city in the country with a Green Party mayor.
The city’s population is estimated at 103,468 by the California Department of Finance.
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