Jonathan Collier: Safety benefits of a dispensary – The Union of Grass Valley

Nevada City overwhelmingly supports cannabis, or so it seems.

Last year Nevada City residents voted 74.76 percent against Measure W and 64.69 percent in favor of Prop 64. And the unfolding of new state regulations is likely to provide more good reasons to proceed forward with an ordinance allowing for dispensaries within the city’s limits.

After a thorough process spanning several months, including multiple sessions of public input, more than a hundred pages of submitted feedback and open public comment, Nevada City’s planning commission has approved an ordinance to be confirmed by the city council.

This progress represents an obvious success for the cannabis community, but more importantly and perhaps not as apparent is the benefit that it brings to the greater community.

Those who oppose a dispensary are in fact opposing accountability in the cannabis marketplace.

It may not seem so, but by allowing a dispensary, the community is making an incredible leap forward in minimizing many of the issues associated with the illegal cannabis trade. In particular, the concerns raised most vocally around youth access and public safety.

The issue often raised is that having a dispensary provides another access point for youth to unlawfully obtain cannabis either directly or indirectly. The reality is that dispensaries have strict ID requirements for their clientele while the black market does not. Dispensaries security staff monitor the entire premises and often even patrol the surrounding neighborhood. Security cameras are required to record all activity in the vicinity 24/7, making it difficult for teenagers to appeal to strangers at the door as they might for alcohol.

In dispensaries in Sacramento and the Bay Area, these measures have actually helped clean up rougher sections of the cities. Loitering of any kind is highly discouraged be it teenage opportunists or transients. Police

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