POT MORATORIUM EXTENDED
The City Council unanimously extended its emergency moratorium on new medical marijuana dispensaries here on the Island on Tuesday night. An ordinance regulating the dispensaries is not expected to be on the books until June 2010.
The moratorium prevents additional dispensaries from setting up shop on the Island until the city establishes an ordinance regulating their presence (if they’re allowed at all).
City staff is also apparently trying to get rid of its sole existing dispensary: They’ve requested that the Purple Elephant dispensary’s business license be yanked. A hearing was held November 18, and it’s not yet clear when a decision will be reached or who is responsible for making that decision (I’ll have more on that for you as soon as I get it).
Scott Candell, a representative of Americans for Safe Access, begged the council to wait on extending its moratorium and offered to provide the council with copies of pot club ordinances in neighboring communities. And he said keeping the clubs in town would offer the city a chance to regulate them and also that they could be an economic boon for the city.
But Robb Ratto, head of the Park Street Business Association, said the council needs more time to talk to the community about how such an ordinance would be written for Alameda.
Kathy Moehring, executive director of the West Alameda Business Association, said her members oppose having a pot club in the Webster Street commercial district, as did the representative of a nearby church who complained about the Purple Elephant club’s presence there.
The emergency ordinance was proposed last month after neighbors discovered the Purple Elephant’s existence (no ad in the Journal, I guess) and the Planning and Building Department got a bevy of additional requests for pot clubs on the Island.
For earlier posts on this one, click here.