Marijuana dispensary ban heads to San Ramon council

'Stems from the community's health, safety and welfare concerns,' deputy city attorney says

The San Ramon City Council is set to introduce a proposed ordinance Tuesday that would formally ban medical marijuana dispensaries from operating within the city limits.

"This prohibition of medical marijuana dispensaries stems from the community's health, safety and welfare concerns regarding the negative impacts and secondary effects associated with the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries within a city," deputy city attorney Alicia Poon wrote in her staff report to the council.

The five councilmen are asked Tuesday night to review the ordinance drafted by city staff, receive public feedback and decide whether to advance the new prohibition law for final approval later this month.

The ban on pot shops would be sweeping -- and include mobile delivery services -- and violators could be charged with a misdemeanor and be subject to civil penalties enforced through the city's administrative citation policies, Poon said.

A dispensary prohibition has received the support of San Ramon police chief Joe Gorton and the city's Policy Committee, a subcommittee that includes two city councilmen.

Potential negative impacts of pot shops include criminal activities associated with marijuana and all-cash operations, neighborhood disruptions, extraordinary demands placed on city law and policy enforcement, increased transient visitors, effects on youth and other sensitive resident groups from exposure to marijuana and "damage to the city's image as a whole," according to Poon.

San Ramon sits as one of three Contra Costa County cities that haven't established regulations specifically addressing medical marijuana dispensaries, Poon said. Hercules and Walnut Creek are the others.

No dispensary storefronts are operating in the city, but there are multiple mobile marijuana delivery services based in San Ramon, according to Poon. She said city officials searched the website WeedMaps on Aug. 31 and found seven mobile delivery services in San Ramon, and they then found nine such services listed when searching the same site on the following day.

San Ramon enacted a temporary moratorium on pot shops in 2010, but the moratorium lapsed without permanent rules being put in place.

City planning officials receive a few inquires per year from people about opening a dispensary, with the general response from staff being that prospective proprietors would need to apply for a zoning ordinance amendment, according to Poon. As it stands, someone could open a dispensary with approval from the Planning Commission and City Council.

City staff recommends the council introduce the proposed ordinance prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries Tuesday night, and then open the public hearing, receive citizen input, deliberate the issue and if appropriate, schedule the final reading and adoption for Sept. 22.

The dispensary ordinance is the main item for Tuesday's council meeting, set to start at 7 p.m. inside the council chambers at San Ramon City Hall, 2222 Camino Ramon.

In other business, the councilmen will hear a presentation on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission summer intern program, and they will receive updates on the new City Hall and City Center construction projects.

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1 person likes this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Danville
on Sep 8, 2015 at 6:13 am

Not those type of people coming into San Ramon or Danville. NIMBY. I guess folks forget that many use marijuana for nausea due to cancer treatments and for appitite increase. I guess it's just to hell with those type of people.
Thank you San Ramon

Like this comment
Posted by Member
a resident of Danville
on Sep 8, 2015 at 8:38 am

Medical marijuana is given under a doctor's care - we don't need crackheads giving it out to all. Does one get ALL the meds over-the-counter? I don't think so - and for a good reason.

4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 8, 2015 at 9:11 am

Bill, I agree with you. "Thank you San Ramon"!!!!!! You and everyone else knows the number of 'legitimate' medical users is so small compared to the recreational user. The issuing of medical cards is a joke that no one wants to address. Yes, keep "those" kind of people out of San Ramon.

Like this comment
Posted by Schedule 1
a resident of Danville
on Sep 8, 2015 at 10:44 am

Reefer Madness!

Like this comment
Posted by KAKH
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 8, 2015 at 9:58 pm

This ordinance (if passed) would make MEDICAL marijuana dispensaries illegal.
According to the American Cancer Association 13 out of every 1,000 Californians use medical marijuana to assist with with the effects of cancer treatment, and medical marijuana can only be purchased from these dispensaries.

Like this comment
Posted by Pot is better than Alcohol
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 12, 2015 at 2:44 am

Yes, San Ramon should also ban all liquor stores to "prevent crime" as well!

Like this comment
Posted by Walter
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 12, 2015 at 1:19 pm

This is Pathetic. No crackheads are coming into this town. Sure, if you want to lose tax revenue from banning dispensaries that is your call. Either way, it will be on the ballot for recreational use next November any way, ain't shit you can do about it then SR. Who cares about the mobile delivery services, they aren't selling it to non medical users. You have to be verified to purchase it medically. At least let the delivery services stay. Then again, will be recreationally legal by 2016.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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