Cannabis advocates draft ballot initiative for marijuana dispensaries in Oceanside

OCEANSIDE (KUSI) — Like many cities around California, Oceanside recently passed a law to regulate cannabis businesses. Some industry advocates and cannabis users don’t like the fact that no dispensaries are allowed.

On Tuesday, supporters of more legal access to cannabis announced the start of an initiative drive to change the law.

A group called Oceanside Advocates for Safe Access (OASA) has filed an initiative to allow for the operation of recreational and medical cannabis dispensaries, delivery-only cannabis dispensaries and cannabis micro-businesses which may include multiple cannabis use such as cultivation, distribution, manufacturing and sales in one location.

The law that’s being challenged is only a few months old. In April, the Oceanside City Council gave its blessing to manufacturing and distribution in the industrial areas and growing operations in the city’s agricultural zones.

However, the Council decided to disallow dispensaries, despite the recommendations from an Ad-Hoc Committee that suggested the city approve four medical dispensaries for the city of 175,000.

The sponsors of the initiative were critical of the council’s prohibition on dispensaries and said the decision to allow retail sales should be left to the voters.

Those opposed to legalizing dispensaries said cannabis users have other places to turn since the city permits deliveries from one or two licensed dispensaries located outside of Oceanside. One of the dispensaries is in Santa Ana.

The Oceanside City Council is scheduled to meet next week to discuss possible amendments to the existing law and could consider the idea of permitting some medical dispensaries to operate.

The group that is campaigning for the initiative said it will aim to qualify the measure for the ballot in 2020.

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