City of Lemon Grove Preparing for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to Open

A third city in San Diego County is preparing to open the door to medical marijuana businesses.

Lemon Grove residents approved Measure V in November by a close margin. The measure repeals an existing city ban on marijuana businesses.

The City Manager for Lemon Grove, Lydia Romero, told NBC 7, in the city’s zoning code if a use is not listed within the code, then the use is not allowed. Since medical marijuana dispensaries were not listed in the code, “that is how the City kept dispensaries out of the City,” according to Romero.

In 2012, voters rejected two measures on the ballot that would have allowed medical marijuana operations in the city.

In November, Measure V passed by 90 votes, according to the Registrar of Voters certified election results, narrowly passing the “over 50%” requirement to repeal the ban.

According to Romero, the Measure V results were certified on December 20th, giving the city 90 days to figure out the approval process for “medical marijuana retail outlet permits”.

“No applications nor any permits will be issued before the March 20th date,” Romero said in an email to NBC 7. “Any retail outlets that open before it is approved by the City will be considered illegal and both the property owner and business owner will be subject to code enforcement action.”

According to the text behind Measure V, these businesses will require a Conditional Use Permit and will be “limited to opening only in Heavy Commercial, Limited Commercial, General Commercial and Light Commercial Zones. Residential and Multi-Use.”

Romero said Lemon Grove staff were still working to properly identify allowable locations in the city and any areas that may be considered “sensitive,” where shops would be prohibited due to nearby retail outlets or malls.

According to how Measure V was written, the measure would allow medical marijuana dispensaries, if permitted, to “grow, process and dispense marijuana to a ‘qualified patient’ or ‘primary caregiver’ on the premises.”

At first, Romero told NBC 7 that commercial cultivation of medical marijuana was not allowed under Measure V.

After NBC 7 referred to the writing of Measure V, stating dispensaries were permitted to grow and process marijuana, the City Manager said the city is still deciphering the approved measure.

Lemon Grove joins the cities of San Diego and La Mesa as the only cities in San Diego County to pass measures that legally allow marijuana for medicinal use to be sold.

The City of San Diego has been accepting dispensary applications since 2014 and according to the city’s communications department, 15 locations have been legally permitted to operate as of November 14, 2016.

To see a list of approved medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego, click here.

The City of La Mesa is planning to start accepting applications for both dispensaries and cultivation sites on January 12th, according to Community Development Director Carol Dick.

Dick told NBC 7 the City of La Mesa’s Planning Department is still working on a map that will show applicants where dispensaries are permitted and prohibited within the city limits.

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City of La Mesa Announces New Rules for Medical Marijuana Businesses

As the city of La Mesa inches closer to allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to operate legally, the city’s Community Development Director told a crowded room of hopeful marijuana entrepreneurs on Monday the city’s code enforcement division would no longer be cracking down on illegal dispensaries.

Beginning Thursday, the city plans to start accepting applications for medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation and manufacturing sites. This comes after voters approved Measure U, an ordinance allowing medical marijuana businesses to operate within city limits through a permitting and licensing process.

UPDATE: On Tuesday, the city announced they were postponing accepting applications and said it plans to begin doing so by January 30. The city did not give an exact date but said prospective applicants can begin receiving “line status numbers” beginning Tuesday.

The permits will be issued on a first come, first serve basis and businesses must adhere to a list of guidelines including specific zones where businesses can operate, in order to have their application or business permit approved, according to the city.

On Monday, the city’s Community Development Department held a Measure U workshop to share the city’s process for accepting applications as well as the specific city zones designated for certain medical marijuana uses and rules future-business owners must follow.

Citizens packed the room at the La Mesa Community Center where the workshop was held.

The announcement that seemed to strike a chord with those at the meeting was an announcement Carol Dick, La Mesa’s Community Development Director made at the workshop.

She told the crowd the city’s code enforcement will no longer be cracking down on illegal medical marijuana dispensaries, rather, she said, they will be focusing on Measure U and the soon-to-be legal shops approved in the permitting process.

The question of what would be done to pre-existing illegal dispensaries, or dispensaries operating without paying business taxes or with approved city permits, was brought up by members in the workshop’s crowd.

“This is the remedy for that,” Dick said, referring to Measure U.

When asked whether or not new owners, who are taking legal steps to open medical marijuana businesses in La Mesa, would have any advantage over those owners operating shops illegally, Dick said the answer was “no.” She explained those illegal owners would be treated just the same as new owners hoping to get permits approved.

During Monday’s workshop, La Mesa city officials also informed the public there is no cap on how many dispensaries or cultivation sites can be open within the city limits. Instead what will determine the number of businesses is how many shops can operate in the approved zones, while staying 600-feet away from schools and other “sensitive uses” such as childcare, daycare facilities or public parks.

Approved dispensaries also are required to be located 1,000 feet from other approved dispensaries or cultivation sites, according to the city’s regulations.

To see the city’s map of ‘eligible zones’ for medical marijuana businesses, click here.

Delivery or mobile marijuana dispensary services remain prohibited in the city of La Mesa but business owners transporting their business’ marijuana goods-for-sale are allowed to do so within the city.

Entrepreneurs in attendance at the workshop asked city officials, including members of the La Mesa Police Department, whether or not people could start lining up to have their chance at being one of the first to apply for a permit on Thursday.

Lt. Matt Nicholas from the La Mesa Police Department told the crowd camping overnight on city hall property was not allowed, but police could not use force to remove someone from city property.

Originally, city officials were going to start accepting applications on Thursday but according to an alert sent out, city planners received a significant number of questions and comments they wish to address before accepting applications.

According to the city, applicants are allowed to come to the city’s Planning Counter at La Mesa City Hall between the hours of 7:30am and 5:30pm, Tuesday through Thursday, to receive a line status number.

La Mesa is the third city in San Diego County to allow medical marijuana businesses to operate legally.

The City of San Diego has been accepting dispensary applications since 2014 and according to city documents obtained by NBC 7 through the California Public Records Act, 15 locations have been legally permitted to operate as of November 14, 2016.

Lemon Grove voters also passed an ordinance in November to remove an existing ban on medical marijuana businesses.

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La Mesa Measure U

Marijuana liability insurance (855) 244-0636

Marijuana liability insurance (855) 244-0636

MEASURE U will provide regulation, oversite and transparency of medical marijuana organization in the City of La Mesa by creating a conditional use permit process and restricted zoning for medical marijuana businesses while ensuring full compliance with California State law.

In 1996, the majority of voters in California and in the City of La Mesa voted for the Compassionate Use Act, which allowed patient access to medical marijuana. Twenty years later, we still lack regulated medical marijuana access in La Mesa.

Research from UC San Diego has shown medical marijuana to be an effective treatment for the effects of cancer radiation therapy, debilitating arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other pain conditions affecting the large senior population in our City. Today, La Mesa patients are forced to use less effective and more costly pharmaceuticals to manage their pain or to turn to black market dealers for their medicine.

MEASURE U will allow the City of La Mesa to provide patient access, while ensuring medical marijuana organizations comply with state regulations, and local zoning and public safety regulations.

MEASURE U ensures the safety of patients and the community by including security requirements including alarm systems, security cameras, lighting standards, and restricting hours of operation.

MEASURE U ensure that medical marijuana dispensaries are located in appropriate areas. It prohibits medical marijuana dispensaries in residential zones and areas where children congregate.

MEASURE U authorizes the city to set fees to ensure that the safe access does not become a financial burden on the city

La Mesa Marijuana Business Insurance

Now that Medical marijuana dispensaries are allowed in La Mesa, California if you want to start one you will need General Liability Insurance for your shop.  We have this insurance that will cover you.  Call our agents at (855) 244-0636 in our La Mesa office or come visit us at 7800 University Ave La Mesa, California.

Medical marijuana dispensaries have been OK’d in La Mesa with the narrow approval of voters Tuesday to regulate the business.

Measure U received 51.41 percent of the vote in November 2016’s election, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting. It needed a simple majority — more than 50 percent — to pass.

The citizen-sponsored initiative authorizes and regulates medical marijuana dispensaries, and limits commercial cultivation sites to industrial and manufacturing zones with a permit issued by the city. It prohibits growing marijuana in a residential zone.