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Staff recommendations for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries a

Staff recommendations for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries a

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Published by Jared Goyette
A proposal by city staff to losen the restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries.
A proposal by city staff to losen the restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries.

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Published by: Jared Goyette on Jun 03, 2013
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Meeting Date: June 4, 2013 Report Type: Discussion

Law and Legislation Committee Report
915 I Street, 1st Floor www.CityofSacramento.org

Title: Location of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Relation to Sensitive Uses and Processing of Dispensary Phase Two Permits Location: Citywide Issue: Existing medical marijuana dispensaries established prior to October 26, 2010 are permitted to relocate only if they can meet all of the sensitive use location requirements found in the Zoning Code. Many of the facilities have desired to relocate; however it is difficult to meet all the sensitive use location requirements. Staff and interested parties have looked at various alternatives to allow dispensaries to apply for a modification to the requirements as part of a conditional use permit request. In addition, current regulations allow dispensaries to operate only until February 11, 2014. Modifications to deadlines in existing city code sections also need to be made in order to allow dispensaries to continue to operate in the city. Recommendation: Direct staff to prepare: 1) ordinances amending various sections of titles 5 and 17 of the Sacramento City Code relating to the location of dispensaries and deadlines for processing dispensary phase two applications; and 2) forward the ordinances to the Planning and Design Commission and the City Council for consideration. Contact: Joy Patterson, Principal Planner, (916) 808-5607; Brad Wasson, Revenue Manager (916) 808-5724 Presenter: Joy Patterson, Principal Planner, (916) 808-5607 Department: Community Development Department/Finance Division: Planning/Revenue Administration Dept ID: 21001221/06001211 Attachments: 01 Description/Analysis 02 Background 03 Status of the 34 Registered Medical Marijuana Dispensaries – May 2013 04 Map of Operating Registered Medical Marijuana Dispensaries – May 2013

Submitted By: Adobe Signature:

Joy D. Patterson

Digitally signed by Joy D. Patterson DN: cn=Joy D. Patterson, o=Community Development Department, ou=Planning Division, email=jpatterson@cityofsacramento.org, c=US Date: 2013.05.24 09:18:39 -07'00'

Approved By: Adobe Signature:

Max Fernandez

Digitally signed by Max Fernandez DN: cn=Max Fernandez, o=Community Development Department, ou=Administration, email=mfernandez@cityofsacramento.org, c=US Date: 2013.05.28 09:28:53 -07'00'

Attachment 01 – Description/Analysis Issue: The current medical marijuana regulations permit dispensaries that were registered with the city and operating on October 26, 2010 to apply for a conditional use permit at their registered location even if the location does not meet the sensitive use distance requirements found in the zoning code. However, if a dispensary proposes to relocate from its registered location, it must meet the distance requirements from sensitive uses found in the code. In the past two and one-half years several of the original registered dispensaries have had to leave their original location. Many have found it difficult to find a location that would meet all of the sensitive use requirements. At the February 26, 2013 City Council meeting the council directed staff to explore options to amend the code in relation to the sensitive use requirements. Staff met with a group of dispensary owners organized by Council member Cohn on March 26, 2013 to discuss various alternative code amendments (Attachment 02 – Background Information). Staff recommends that an ordinance amendment be processed that would include sensitive use and distance requirements but also give dispensaries the option of requesting a modification of the sensitive use distance requirement as part of their conditional use permit application for the dispensary use. Amendments to title 5 of the city code are also necessary to allow city staff to resume processing medical marijuana dispensary phase two permits. Policy Considerations: The City Council has determined that it supports the location of medical marijuana dispensaries in the City with the proper regulatory permits. Modifications of current regulations are necessary in order to allow dispensaries to continue to legally operate. Economic Impacts: None. Environmental Considerations: None. Sustainability: No impact. Commission/Committee Action: None. Rationale for Recommendation: Development of ordinances amending the zoning code and revenue timelines for permit approval will allow dispensaries to continue to operate in the City of Sacramento. Financial Considerations: None. Emerging Small Business Development (ESBD): None.

Attachment 02 – Background

The Zoning Code regulations require that medical marijuana dispensaries meet the following distance requirements: x x x x 300 feet from residential zoned property 600 feet from a child care center, child care-family day care home, youth oriented facility, church/faith congregation, substance abuse center, movie theater/cinema, tobacco store 1,000 feet from another medical marijuana dispensary 1,000 feet from a park or a school; however, as part of the conditional use permit approval process for the dispensary, the dispensary applicant can request that this distance requirement be reduced by the Planning and Design Commission. The commission, however, cannot reduce the distance below 600 feet.

An exception is made for existing dispensaries that registered with the City of Sacramento by July 27, 2010 and were operating at their registered location on October 26, 2010 (Title There are 34 dispensaries that registered with the city. Many of the registered dispensary locations do not meet all the distance requirements. However, the registered dispensaries are allowed to apply for a conditional use permit for the dispensary at this location.

Currently, of the 34 dispensaries, 32 received Phase I permits from the Revenue Division and two closed. Of the 32 with phase one permits, 20 are open. Four of the 20 have relocated from their original location. If a dispensary relocates from its original site the new site must meet the distance requirements. These four dispensaries were able to find locations that met the criteria listed above.

Fourteen of the registered dispensaries are not operating. Several of these dispensaries have indicated to city staff that they would like to be open but cannot find a new location that meets all of the distance requirements. They have asked if there is some way that the existing ordinance could be modified to help them find new location.

On March 28, 2013, Council Member Steve Cohn held a stakeholders meeting with several of the medical marijuana dispensaries and other interested parties. Persons in attendance and city staff looked at various alternatives to the existing code for the registered dispensaries including:

1. Amending the Code so that a dispensary can request, as part of the conditional use permit, to be less than the required distance from the sensitive use (except for parks and schools, minimum distance cannot be less than 600 feet). a. This is staff’s preferred alternative. The amendment would be similar to the most recent amendment to the Code which requires a distance of 1,000 feet from a park or school but allows a dispensary applicant to request to reduce the distance to a minimum of 600 feet as part of the conditional use permit review. The applicant would provide information as part of the conditional use permit request to indicate why it would be appropriate to deviate from the distance requirement (for example, a levee is located between the dispensary and the sensitive use). 2. Reduce the distance requirement for stated in the Zoning Code for sensitive uses (for example, reduce the 600 foot requirement from a youth oriented facility to 300 feet). a. The City Council put a lot of thought in to the sensitive use list and not enough conditional use permits have been reviewed for staff to recommend reducing the existing distance requirements. Distances would still be evaluated under option 1, with the applicant providing information as to what the sensitive use was and how it would not be detrimental for the facility to be located within the minimum radius. 3. Eliminate some of the sensitive uses. a. Again, the City Council put a lot of thought in to the list and not enough conditional use permits have been reviewed for staff to recommend eliminating uses from the list. 4. Measure door to door instead of property line to property line when measuring distances. a. Staff does not recommend this modification. All radiuses in the Zoning Code for use permits and noticing are property line to property line. There is too much uncertainty in determining what doors of what uses would be measured and more room for error. 5. Allow a dispensary to move within a certain radius of their original registered location without having to meet the distance requirement. a. It would be difficult to determine what that radius should be. For example, a move of 1000 feet could put a facility within a radius of several sensitive uses

where the location where the dispensary is registered may only be within a radius of one use at their current location. 6. Analyze natural barriers and man-made barriers and allow the dispensary when a barrier is between a dispensary and a sensitive use. a. Man-made and natural barriers can be used as justification of a reduction of the radius as part of option 1. 7. Do not require the original 34 registered dispensaries to comply with the location criteria in their registered location and any new proposed location. a. Staff does not recommend this option for the reasons discussed in options 3 and 4 above. In summary, staff recommends that any reduction in the sensitive use distance requirement from a medical marijuana dispensary be explained by the applicant and considered as part of the conditional use permit application for the site. This would allow the original 34 dispensaries to request to locate at a different site as part of their conditional use permit review process. Staff recommends that the Law and Legislation Committee direct staff to prepare a City Code amendment that allows for reduction of the sensitive use distance requirement for the original 34 registered dispensaries as part of the conditional use permit.

In addition to amending the sensitive use requirements for conditional use permits, city staff recommends that the city resume processing medical marijuana dispensary permits. In November of 2011 the city stopped processing dispensary permits due to the uncertain state of the law and federal enforcement actions in the fall of 2011. On May 6, 2013, the California Supreme Court issued a decision in City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patient’s Health and Wellness Center Inc. that the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and Medical Marijuana Program of 2003 did not preempt the ability of cities and counties to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries

As a result of the California Supreme Court’s decision, staff recommends that the City of Sacramento repeal interim ordinance 2012-041 and begin to process conditional use permits and phase two permits for medical marijuana dispensaries. Currently pursuant to ordinance 2012-041, all dispensaries with phase one permits are required to apply for phase two applications by November 12, 2013 and are permitted to operate without a phase two permit until February 11, 2014. Staff recommends that the City Council repeal ordinance 2012-041 and provide new deadlines in Title 5 of the Sacramento City Code related to processing. Staff recommends that the deadline to file for a

phase two application be extended to March 31, 2014 and the deadline to have all permits approved (conditional use permit and phase two permit) and continue operation is June 30, 2014.

Attachment 03 – Status of the 34 Registered Medical Marijuana Dispensaries – May 2013

OPEN (20 dispensaries) Cana Care Inc., 320 Harris Ave., Suite G Doctor’s Orders, 1704 Main Ave. True Compassion (River City Wellness Collective), 135 Main Avenue (previously 3830 Northgate Blvd.) River City Phoenix, 1508 El Camino Ave. Valley Health Options, 1421 Auburn Blvd. Golden, 1030 Joellis (previously J Street Wellness Collective, 2321 J Street, Suite A ) A Therapeutic Alternative, 3015 H Street Two Rivers/Roseville Gold/J’s Collective, 315 North 10th Street All About Wellness, 1900 19th Street (Approved by Planning Commission 9/22/11) Abatin Wellness Inc. (Capitol Wellness Inc.), 2100 29th Street Delta Health & Wellness, 2418 17th Street Nor Cal Alternative Healing, 515 Broadway Northstar Holistic Collective, 1236 C Street South Sacramento Care Center, 114A Otto Circle Florin Wellness Center Inc., 7047 South Land Park Drive Horizon Nonprofit Collective, 3600 Power Inn Road, Suite 1A Hugs Alternative Care LLC, 2035 Stockton Blvd. Mad Medicine (formerly CC101), 6435 Florin Perkins Road CNAA California (aka Triple C Collective), 8112 Alpine Ave. (previously 2150 Bell Ave.) Cloud 9 5711 Florin Perkins Road (previously P Street Health Center, 2012 P Street), CLOSED (14 dispensaries) Didacus Flower Company (aka Grass), 4381 Gateway Park Blvd, #560 One Love Wellness (aka River City Cooperative Corporation), 1841 El Camino Ave. Medizen (aka East Bay Health Solutions, Cherry Orchard), 2201 Northgate Blvd, Suite H Capitol Wellness Inc., 2400 14th Street Green Door (aka Sara Jane & Co. Cooperative Inc.), 908 21st Street Fruitridge Health & Wellness Collective, 2831 Fruitridge Rd, Suite E Green Solutions, 1404 28th Street 12 Hour Care Collective, 6666 Fruitridge Road, Suite C Alternative Medical Center, 8665 Folsom Blvd. Power Inn Wellness (aka Sacsterdam), 7551 14th Ave., Unit D R & R Coffee & Collective, Quinta Court El Camino Wellness Collective, 2511 Connie Drive (Approved by Planning Commission 9/22/11) Unity, 1832 Tribute Road, Suite E (Approved by Planning Commission 8/11/11) Sacramento Holistic Healing Center/Grass, 3015 H Street (this new location did not meet sensitive use criteria, closed. Registered location is 2014 10th Street)

Attachment 04 - Map of Operating Registered Medical Marijuana Dispensaries – May 2013

Registered Medical Marijuana Dispensaries May 2013

Registered Medical Marijuana Dispensary (20 locations) 1,000 Foot RacfiUS arOlUld Medical Marijuana DispensaJY Property Wrthin 300 Feet of a Residential Zoned Property and/or 1 ,000 Feet of a Pubfic Pari< or Private, Public, Charter School

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