After the county spent almost two years creating a medical marijuana dispensary ordinance and assessing applications, the county administrator denied all 10 bids for storefront licenses, including two in West Marin that rankled many residents in the San Geronimo Valley and Marshall.
In an announcement on Monday, Matthew Hymel, the administrator, said he would make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors to convert the ordinance to a two-step process that would separately evaluate potential operators and sites. He will also ask the board to consider including delivery-only proposals, given the dismay expressed by many people at the idea of a neighborhood dispensary.
Applicants have until April 24 to appeal Mr. Hymel’s decision to supervisors. If appeals are made, they must be heard in the next three months.
“I think we knew it would be a challenge from the beginning,” Mr. Hymel told the Light. “We hoped to identify a vendor and a site through this process. We don’t think we found that match.”
The ordinance, approved after multiple public hearings in December 2015, marked an effort by supervisors to provide a way for people with a doctor’s recommendation to visit a storefront to make their purchases, as every dispensary in the county’s incorporated towns had shut down. (Currently, recreational dispensaries in Marin are prohibited.)
The rules required storefront applicants to secure a signed commitment from a landlord to rent a space—which had to be at least 800 feet from youth facilities—were they to nab a license. Last summer, the county evaluated 10 applications, and in January and February the Community Development Agency organized three community meetings to give applicants a chance to present their proposed businesses to both community members and an advisory committee.
The meeting in the valley drew hundreds of people, the vast majority opposed to the applications