Vallejo may push 'pause button' for m...

Vallejo may push 'pause button' for medical marijuana dispensaries

Posted in the Martinez Forum


Vallejo, CA

#1 Apr 23, 2013
Vallejo may push 'pause button' for medical marijuana dispensaries

One of Vallejo's most open secrets continues its streak of public discussion tonight, as the Vallejo City Council looks at shutting the door on new medical marijuana dispensaries.

Although federal law and Vallejo's zoning code (by exclusion) prohibit the sale of marijuana, murky state law and a series of in-progress court cases on the potential regulation or prohibition of dispensaries continue to cloud the issue.

If the council votes tonight to establish at least an initial 45-day moratorium on new dispensaries, there will be no more new vague "botanicals" and "vitamin" retail business licenses, no more building permits for new shops and no new business tax certificates issued. Under emergency rules, at least six of the seven council members would have to support the moratorium.

"There is some confusion on (the issue). The thought is to clarify that, for the time being," City Attorney Claudia Quintana said last week. "True, we're taking their money, because any business is taxable. But there is no actual spot to put them, according to our zoning law. It's created a lot of consternation."

Listing the alleged 21 crimes attributed to Vallejo dispensaries since 2010, purported citizen complaints made against the dispensaries and a complete lack of local regulation, a city staff report for tonight's meeting states there is "an immediate threat to the safety, health and welfare of Vallejo residents.

"The city currently has no process in place to regulate dispensary uses, so it became increasingly clear that proposing an interim 'pause' button (in the form of a moratorium) on the issuance of new tax certificates was necessary to ultimately protect the public health, safety and welfare," Planning Director Andrea Ouse wrote in an email.

Ouse said in an a later interview that most research she has compiled on issues related to medical marijuana dispensaries in and out of Vallejo was negative, but that she plans to present a balanced perspective.

"The point of the moratorium is to allow us to develop even the most basic of regulatory processes, to allow us to look ... it provides even just a base level of compliance," Ouse said.

More than a year ago, Vallejo's medical marijuana dispensaries' numbers were culled through law enforcement raids, just months after the public overwhelmingly voted to support taxation on their sales proceeds. Some, however, confused taxation on marijuana sales as a form of legalization. City officials across the board overwhelmingly stressed that by taking dispensaries' money for sales inside Vallejo, the city was not endorsing or legalizing the trade.

Last month, the last of a handful of cases against Vallejo dispensaries targeted by the Solano County District Attorney's Office for a variety of drug-related charges was dropped with little comment.

At the time, District Attorney Don du Bain said after the dismissal of charges against the operator of the now-shuttered Greenwell Cooperative, that earlier dispensary cases were dismissed due to lack of evidence.

"We're reassessing our cases in light of the recent appellate court cases throughout last year," du Bain said. "The appellate court cases have interpreted the statutes more broadly than we anticipated."

Du Bain added that in the future, "We're taking every case on a case-by-case basis and deciding it on its merits. I would not characterize it as a pause; we could have an arrest tonight or tomorrow .... and be moving full speed ahead."

As of last month, eight dispensaries submitted sales tax revenue payments for February, down by one from the previous month, city Finance Director Deborah Lauchner said. Some 30 entities have obtained city business licenses since early last year, and five are known to be active, according to the city report.
Martijuana Brownie

Vallejo, CA

#2 Apr 23, 2013
A whole lot of staff time and cost followed the vote by Gomes, Brown, and Sampayan last year to allow dispensaries to continue operation. No rules, uncertain accounting of proceeds, CRIME, and yet they were OK with allowing continued sales. Gomes and Brown are known marijuana sympathizers, Sampayan follows them like a little puppy. All three will look like goats tonight and deservedly so.
More citizens will be knocking Brown's PB experiment tonight as well. The majority did not support Measure B added tax but after it won, hijacked close to three and a half million for Marti's minimally popular PB project.
Wrong Again

Vacaville, CA

#3 Apr 23, 2013
its against city law and zoning laws, so why does the city even consider allowing them? city hall has to be the dumbest people alive!!!!!!!!!!

Vacaville, CA

#4 Apr 23, 2013
Wrong Again wrote:
its against city law and zoning laws, so why does the city even consider allowing them? city hall has to be the dumbest people alive!!!!!!!!!!
The last time the dumbest people alive did something about this was Stan the Man. That turned out successful. Only problem was it cost the city a large amount of money and time. The wheels of justice grind on, but they grind slowly. Due Process sure can be a pain in the butt. Unless, of course, you are the target.
Wrong Again

Vacaville, CA

#5 Apr 23, 2013
city hall can't get out of their own way. quintana clearly stated its against city law. so why even consider it? for a whopping $300k in taxes
Wrong Again

Vacaville, CA

#6 Apr 24, 2013
notice the vib hippies have nothing to say. they have officially seen how stupid their clowncil is. its in black and white

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