- Posted by Laura Croft, Esq
- On March 30, 2017
- AUMA, Cannabis License, Marin County, medical cannabis dispensary, Non-medical Cannabis Ban, permits, Proposition 64, regulations
Marin County is slowly progressing towards the processing and permitting of medical Cannabis dispensaries in Marin. Last May, the Marin County Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance that would allow up to four medical Cannabis dispensaries in unincorporated Marin, two along the Highway 101 corridor and two in central and West Marin. The ordinance also left open the possibility of not issuing any dispensary permits. Currently, there are no legal medical Cannabis dispensaries in the unincorporated areas of the county or in any of Marin’s 11 municipalities.
On January 31, 2017, a public hearing was held at the Tamalpais Valley Community Center to review 10 bids for medical Cannabis dispensaries. This was the first of three public hearings to fill the four coveted openings.
The applicants included Access Marin Wellness Center; Shoreline Health Center; Urban Hills and Crown Wellness; and each hopeful applicant set forth thoughtful, organized and overall impressive presentations.
Marin residents responded with mixed reviews to the idea of medical Cannabis dispensaries in their backyard. Many opposed to the dispensaries expressed fear that youth would have easier access to secondhand Cannabis sales or that the presence of a dispensary, even if discrete, would heighten their interest in Cannabis. Marin residents, opposed to any medical dispensaries started a web site, “No Pot in Tam Junction” and a Chang.org petition urging the County to reject the dispensary proposals for the neighborhood sites.
Proponents of the medical Cannabis dispensaries in unincorporated Marin reminded the Board that medical Cannabis has immeasurable benefits for countless ailing patients and that the number one drug problem in America is alcohol.
Two additional public hearings will be held to consider the appliactions of Forest Knolls Wellness, Forest Knolls and Craftcanna, Delta 11, Caregiver Compassion Group Releaf Center, Marin Compassionate Collective and Marin Community Partners. The Medical Cannabis Dispensary applications are available for review at the Marin Cannabis Program.
The County of Marin is currently not accepting any more medical cannabis dispensary license applications, as they are processing 10 applications, with eight in the 101 Corridor zone and two in the Central/West Marin zone. The 101 Corridor applications include three in Black Point, one in Santa Venetia, and four in the Tam Shoreline area. The Central/West Marin applications include two in San Geronimo Valley and one in Marshall. For additional application details, please see the Applications Under Review page.
BAN OF NON-MEDICAL CANNABIS ACTIVITY
Simultaneous to the consideration of the dispensary permits, the Marin Board of Supervisors banned non-medical Cannabis business activity in unincorporated Marin. Under the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which legalized the adult use of non-medical Cannabis in the November election, California will begin issuing state licenses in January of 2018. However, Board Members expressed concern that if Marin did not enact a ban on non-medical Cannabis, some individuals might immediately begin outdoor cultivation in the unincorporated areas of the county.
Supervisors plan to implement Marin’s medical Cannabis program first before considering non-medical policies. But Supervisor Katie Rice explained to MarinIj.com Politics that the adoption of the ordinance banning non-medical Cannabis activity would not prevent supervisors from later lifting the ban and adopting regulations that would then govern the legal sale of non-medical cannabis.
The Marin Board of Supervisors are always considering and welcoming insight and feedback, so be proactive in contacting [email protected]. For more information, visit marincounty.org/main/medicalcannabis.
Proponents and those in opposition to the ban spoke out, echoing the same rhetoric usually expressed by both sides of the Cannabis coin. Proponents expressed the desire to have “safe” Cannabis-free towns. Opponents of the ban found that opposition to the free use and sale of Cannabis is based on antiquated and ill-informed beliefs and that the community should be focusing on educating youth about the medical benefits of Cannabis and the dangers of alcohol and opioids.
Please contact CannaBusinessLaw for expert assistance in compliance with Cannabis licensing, permitting and the application process relating to commercial Cannabis in California.