DECEMBER 8, 2016
San Diego unveiled a proposal on Thursday to allow the city’s 15 permitted medical marijuana dispensaries to also sell marijuana to recreational users when that becomes legal in California in January 2018.
San Diego is the only city in the county that has indicated it intends to allow the sale of recreational marijuana, which state voters approved Nov. 8 as Proposition 64.
Any new dispensary seeking to sell recreational marijuana would need to meet the same rigorous zoning and security regulations the city applied to permitted medical marijuana dispensaries.
Those regulations prevent dispensaries from opening near housing, schools, churches, parks and other sensitive uses, while also requiring security guards, cameras and other safety measures.
But the proposal, which the Planning Commission is scheduled to discuss next Thursday, would make several small refinements to those regulations.
Customers would need to be 21 years old — a requirement under Proposition 64 — to buy recreational marijuana, while medical marijuana would still be available to those 18 and up.
The regulations would be loosened by making the definition of a park more specific, eliminating open space and riparian areas that have stymied some medical marijuana dispensary applicants.
Sign regulations would be tightened to allow only alphabetic characters spelling the name of the business. This change is in response to dispensaries seeking to add graphics of marijuana plants or related images.
Dispensaries would also face a new requirement to remove graffiti within 24 hours and keep the area surrounding their businesses free of litter.
And the regulations would clarify that delivery of marijuana would only be legal from permitted dispensaries.
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