Although the San Diego County Board of Supervisors directed county staff to develop an ordinance banning marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated San Diego County, including cultivation-only facilities and existing facilities which will be given a five-year amortization period, the county’s Planning Commission refused to recommend that ban.
A 5-0 Planning Commission vote Feb. 10, with Doug Barnhart and David Pallinger absent, approved a recommendation against the proposed total ban with a statement that a ban would be counterproductive due to the lack of regulation of a black-market alternative, including pesticide restrictions, the risk that a citizens’ initiative would create more lenient zoning, and increased travel for medical marijuana patients.
The Planning Commission’s proposal is that the two existing medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated San Diego County, along with the three facilities which had been deemed vested, should be allowed to operate without an amortization period. A 4-1 vote, with Michael Seiler opposed, recommended the allowance of those five dispensaries with a ban on all other dispensaries and a ban on outdoor signage and advertising.
The final motions did not include an initial proposal that during 2018 the Planning Commission consider guidelines for cultivation of medical marijuana on land with A72 General Agriculture zoning, so the final Planning Commission action did not address cultivation.
“To bring something into conformance in five years strikes me as a little bit tight,” said commissioner Peder Norby.
In November 1996, the state’s voters passed Proposition 215, which allows for the cultivation, possession, and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
In June 2010, the Board of Supervisors adopted regulations to the county’s Zoning Ordinance to address medical marijuana dispensaries while also approving a regulatory ordinance for licensing and operating requirements. Medical marijuana dispensaries are restricted to parcels with M50, M52, M54, or M58 industrial zoning and must be at