The Santa Barbara City Council decisively took the first step of a two-step process to impose a moratorium on new medical marijuana dispensaries. By a vote of three-to-zero, the council’s ordinance committee voted in favor of the moratorium until the council can pass rules regulating where pot dispensaries can be located and how they must be run. All three of the councilmembers have expressed strong support for the idea of medical marijuana, but recent complaints by neighbors of the ACME collective at 211 West Victoria Street prompted council action. They were further galvanized by a club that distributed leaflets on the waterfront promising home delivery of a wide variety of medical marijuana products.
Currently, there are 10 dispensaries in town. Although the meeting was attended by many in the medical marijuana business, none spoke out against it. Mostly they wanted to make sure they were on the list of dispensaries that had city business permits as of August 14, the cut-off date for the moratorium.
The moratorium will not become official, however, until the whole City Council votes for it.