City Seeks to Regulate Growth of Pot Dispensaries

Responding to pleas for greater regulation from medical marijuana advocates, the City of Santa Barbara appears poised to pass a moratorium on new pot dispensaries sometime in the near future. That moratorium would remain in effect until the City Council works out of the details of a regulatory framework to ensure that pot dispensaries do not become a public nuisance. Currently, there are 11 medical marijuana storefronts I within city limits, with another poised to open on the Westside at the intersection of San Andres and Micheltorena streets. Mayor Marty Blum said she met with medical marijuana advocates last week, and said that councilmembers Grant House and Helene Schneider have agreed to place the issue on the council meeting agenda sometime soon. Blum said the ordinance should keep pot distributors a safe distance from schools and other youth activities, would regulate the hours of operation so that they didn’t attract late night crowds, and would prohibit cannabis consumption on the premises. The proliferation of pot centers within city limits has generated some complaints, and the industry is hoping that city regulations might keep the less discreet operators in check.

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