City Council extends marijuana moratorium for 10 1/2 months

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The City Council Tuesday extended a moratorium on establishing businesses related to recreational marijuana in San Diego for 10 1/2 months to buy time for city officials to set up land use and public safety regulations.

An initial 45-day prohibition was approved by the council last month.

The moratorium would go away if a comprehensive regulatory package is adopted earlier, something the council is scheduled to take up next week.

San Diego began permitting medical marijuana dispensaries in 2015, and now city officials have to come to grips with voter passage of statewide Proposition 64, which allows recreational use of the drug.

The measure, approved in November’s general election, immediately legalized possession, transport, use and transfer of marijuana for people aged 21 years or older. It also immediately allowed personal indoor and outdoor cultivation of up to six living marijuana plants at a private residence.

The new state law also provides municipalities with the authority to regulate marijuana-related activities and to subject such enterprises to zoning and permitting requirements, city officials said.

State licensing of commercial operations is scheduled to start at the beginning of 2018.

However, Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, was quoted in the Sacramento Bee as saying there is no way the state will be ready by then. He told the newspaper that state officials are tasked with "building the regulatory system for a multibillion-dollar industry from scratch.”

Categories: Local San Diego News