Attorney Jessica McElfresh was interviewed by the San Diego Union Tribune about the prospect of recreational marijuana sales in the city and how that might be handled through retail shops.
Voters on Nov. 8 approved Proposition 64, a California marijuana legalization measure that permits the use, cultivation, sales, and transportation of small amounts of recreational marijuana in the state. The ballot measure passed by 56-44 percent, and allows adults over age 21 to engage in activity involving up to one ounce of marijuana or eight grams of concentrated cannabis.
San Diego has taken no action regarding recreational marijuana businesses yet, but two council members have proposed a 45-day moratorium to allow the city to figure out the best path forward and adopt appropriate regulations.
McElfresh praised the short-term nature of the moratorium.
“This puts them ahead of every jurisdiction in San Diego (County) and a lot in the state that are just passing automatic, unnecessary knee-jerk bans,” she said. “Choosing to go with a short-term moratorium suggests this is a priority.”
She also said this gives San Diego the opportunity to review its rules for medical marijuana businesses, such as zoning regulations, and revise them for clarity.
“They could look at cleaning up parts of it that have led to confusion, such as the definition of parks,” she said. “They could also address cultivation, lab testing and manufacturing of edibles, which isn’t addressed now. There’s a lot of good opportunities.”
How Recreational Marijuana Sales Might Work
With few places in San Diego zoned for dispensaries, officials said there’s no room for additional recreational marijuana shops unless zoning regulations are expanded. McElfresh said a loosening of zoning regulations is unlikely.
That may mean that existing medical marijuana dispensaries also may take up the mantle of recreational marijuana sales.
San Diego has eight medical marijuana dispensaries in operation, and has approved a total of 15. It’s the only city in the region that allows the operation of dispensaries.
Contact a San Diego Marijuana Lawyer
The legal landscape for marijuana is complex and ever-changing in California. That can make it challenging for a business owner, or prospective business owner, to keep up with laws, rules, and regulations. If you’re currently operating a marijuana business or want to start one, McElfresh Law offers experienced legal counsel and advocacy. Attorney Jessica McElfresh has helped several medical marijuana businesses to overcome the legal hurdles to become operational.
Contact McElfresh Law today at (858) 756-7107, or use the online contact form, to schedule an appointment to discuss your legal needs today.