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Pot Head-to-Head

City Planning Commission vs. Ordinance Committee


When it comes to medical marijuana dispensaries, the City of Santa Barbara’s Planning Commission is recommending a decidedly more stringent course than the one currently embraced by the City Council’s Ordinance Committee. Rather than allowing up to seven dispensaries-one for each of the seven geographically distinct zones-as the council’s committee recommended, the commissioners suggested that no more than four dispensaries-and perhaps as few as two-be allowed.

In addition, the commissioners recommended creating more exclusionary categories from which any dispensary would have to be at least 500 feet away. And lastly, the commissioners were emphatic that at least one of the dispensaries should be located in the “medical corridor” near Cottage Hospital.

The council’s Ordinance Committee-comprised of Councilmembers Dale Francisco, Das Williams, and Grant House, and which recently approved a draft medical marijuana dispensary ordinance-was equally emphatic that dispensaries should be kept away from the medical corridor. The council recently enacted a moratorium on new dispensaries pending additional review of the draft new ordinance.

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