City Hall pivots to tackle marijuana, recycling and food trucks

After updating the general plan and returning to Fulton Street, City Hall takes a stab at the development code.


The council on Nov. 19 discussed the regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries at some length.


City Attorney Doug Sloan told the council that current city zoning law allowed medical marijuana dispensaries/cooperatives in places where medical offices are allowed. However, the dispensaries/cooperatives must follow state and federal laws.

Since federal law doesn’t recognize medical marijuana, city zoning law makes it impossible for such dispensaries/cooperatives to operate legally.

Sloan said the new development code was structured in an unusual way. He said it listed all sorts of things that are OK to do. If something isn’t on the list, then the code prohibits it.

Medical marijuana dispensaries/cooperatives aren’t on the list. But, Sloan said, it was his recommendation that the council formally prohibit the dispensaries/cooperatives just to be on the safe side should City Hall find itself in court.

Two things happened when Sloan said this.

First, council members said they were thoroughly confused.

Second, they finally got around to voting on Sloan’s suggestion – which came in the form of a motion by Paul Caprioglio. The vote was 3-3 (Baines, Soria and Clint Olivier voted no). Quintero was absent.

A 3-3 vote means the motion failed.

Then, on Dec. 3 when Brand resurrected Sloan’s suggestion, the council voted 6-1 in favor of inserting the ban on medical marijuana dispensaries/cooperatives in the new development code.

Olivier was the lone no vote. He said the war on drugs is a failure.

Baines and Soria didn’t say why they changed their minds.

The council on Dec. 3 also voted to restore the proposed recycling center regulations that the Planning Commission had deleted.

No one from the dais explained what the planning commissioners had been thinking, or why the staff and administration didn’t raise a ruckus when the commissioners were moving in that direction.

I called Brand Sunday evening to find out if he knew what happened. He said only that a sweet-talking representative of the recycling industry had convinced the commissioners to yank the regulations.

Brand said he and some of his colleagues on the dais will introduce even tougher regulations on recycling centers early next year. He said the centers are magnets for crime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts