City of San Diego places temporary ban on recreational marijuana use

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The City Council Tuesday slapped a 45-day moratorium on recreational marijuana activities in San Diego, such as commercial cultivation or sales.

The temporary ban will buy time for city officials to set up land use and public safety regulations.

San Diego began permitting medical marijuana dispensaries only last year, 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 last month’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.

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

"San Diego does not currently have any policy in place related to recreational marijuana as we do for medical marijuana,” Councilwoman Lorie Zapf said. "We believe it’s important that our city take some steps to provide consistency and clarity to our constituents, as well as the business community.”

The moratorium temporarily bans the establishment of recreational marijuana dispensaries, commercial cultivation and manufacturing businesses. It was passed unanimously after a provision that barred personal outdoor cultivation was removed.

City officials have already been working on a regulatory framework for recreational marijuana, and draft recommendations were issued last week. For the most part, they mirror restrictions placed on medical marijuana dispensaries.

The recommendations will be considered by the Planning Commission on Thursday, and taken up by the City Council at a future date.

Separately, the council approved a 34-story, mixed-use high-rise at Park Boulevard and Market Street that will include 426 residences and a hub for UC San Diego extension programs.

Categories: Local San Diego News