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Mobile medical marijuana dispensaries may operate in Paso Robles 

City will issue business licenses to medical marijuana dispensaries

mobile medical marijuana deliveryUpdate Aug. 6, 2014: Mobile medical marijuana dispensaries may operate in Paso Robles after the the Paso Robles City Council voted Tuesday night. To a room crowded with medical marijuana supporters, the council acted in a procedural motion to receive a city staff report that found no state regulation against the service.

“Upon close examination it was determined that the City Business License Ordinance is the only code that addresses delivery services, and the code does not prohibit issuing a business license to a medical marijuana delivery service provider,” says Paso Robles City Manager Jim App. “As a result, there are no prohibitions to issuing a business license to a medical marijuana delivery service,” he says. “Licenses will be issued upon application.”

Councilmen Steve Martin, Fred Strong, and Ed Steinbeck voted to support the move, while Councilman John Hamon and Mayor Duane Picanco opposed it. Hundreds of locals rely on medical marijuana to ease their suffering and a poll of over 300 readers below, shows the public opposed a ban by more than 3-to-1.

At the Council meeting of July 15, the question of whether to issue a business license or ban medical marijuana delivery service providers deadlocked 2-2, with Picanco and Steinbeck supporting a ban, and Martin and Strong opposed to the ban. Hamon was absent. At the time of deadlock, the council requested that city and other codes be examined to determine what, if any, laws governed these types of delivery services in the city limits.

City council again considering ban of mobile medical marijuana dispensaries

Update July 30, 2014: After deadlocking last month, the Paso Robles City Council is again going to consider banning mobile medical marijuana distribution in the city limits. The city issued a press release this morning notifying residents: “There will be an item on the August 5, 2014 City Council meeting that will discuss mobile medical marijuana dispensaries.”

They will meet in city council chambers at 1000 Spring Street, Paso Robles, CA 93446. Regular meetings begin at 7:30 p.m.

What is your opinion on medical marijuana? Vote in our poll:

[yop_poll id=”9″]

City council deadlocked on mobile medical marijuana ban

Update July 16, 2014: The Paso Robles City Council failed to pass a new ban on mobile medical marijuana distributors in a 2-2 vote. Mayor Duane Picanco and Councilman Ed Steinbeck voted in favor of the ban, while Councilmen Steve Martin and Fred Strong voted against it. Councilman John Hamon was out of town.

The crowd was filled with local residents who opposed the ban. About 10-12 voiced their concerns to the council. None spoke in support of the ban, according to reports.

Councilman Martin said he opposed the ban because, “I think denying access to medical treatment forces people who have a legitimate right, under the California Compassionate Use Act, to become criminals and seek it elsewhere.” He said he consulted with the city’s police department, the city staff report, and listened to residents in reaching his conclusion.

Councilman Strong says, “There are citizens in Paso Robles whose doctors have decided that this is either the only or the best way to control symptoms. I do not wish to contradict medical opinion.”

The issue remains unsettled and is expected to be brought up again at the council’s next meeting in August. City Manager Jim App says, “While there are now no explicit restrictions on this type of business, it is not clear whether the city’s Business License Ordinance authorizes issuance of a business license. Businesses must possess a city license to conduct business in the city. The Business License Ordinance will be reviewed and possibly returned to City Council for clarification and/or modification.”

Mobile medical marijuana dispensaries are a threat to public health, safety and welfare, city manager says

Marijuana Paso RoblesOriginal report July 15, 2014: The Paso Robles City Council is holding a public hearing tonight to consider banning mobile medical marijuana operators in the city limits.

“There exists a current and immediate threat to public health, safety and welfare in absence of the city adopting an ordinance prohibiting establishment, operation or use of mobile medical marijuana dispensaries,” says City Manager Jim App in a report to the council.

“The failure to prohibit mobile medical marijuana dispensaries will expose the City to costs related to regulation, enforcement, and the possible negative secondary effects of dispensaries including an increase in violent crime,” he says.

The exact number of mobile delivery services operating in California is unclear, but a search on the internet indicates that at least four separate marijuana delivery services claim to make deliveries in the City of Paso Robles, according to the report. The city municipal code already bans store-front medical marijuana dispensaries. Mobile medical marijuana dispensaries have applied for business licenses to operate
in the city, the report says.

If the council approves the ban tonight, it would take effect in on month. The public hearing is tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Paso Robles Library/City Hall Conference Center at 1000 Spring Street, Paso Robles.

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About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.