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Medical marijuana coop locations more restricted

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The zoning limits on land taken up by medical marijuana cooperatives San Diego city councilmembers first decided to allow in communities in 2014 now have community safeguards that keep the medical marijuana distribution farther away from community places young San Diegans spend time. And, the council decided to ban vending machines in coop communities. The revised ordinance prevents private marijuana business, with no middle man or doctor, from doing harm to local youth.

Coop doors, three years after the council repealed its first attempt at settling on community land coops can use, will open no closer than 1,000 feet from public places, churches, and schools. Councilmembers drew the same new line for after shool programs, teen centers, boys and girls clubs and other minority-oriented facilities.

Loations coops chose, in commercial or industrial zones, to put up their two color coop name signs, and, distribute medical marijuana to patients and caregivers will stay separate from residential locations. There must be a buffer zone measuring at least 100 feet.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, who drafted the revised land use restrictions at the council's request, expects the new ban on vending machines to stand up to any legal challenges. A dispensary ban in Riverside was upheld by the California Supreme Court.

This is a Center Line Policy Alert.