For Immediate ReleaseJanuary 17, 2017
Advisory committee to solicit public input on 10 applications for dispensaries
San Rafael, CA – Three public meetings are scheduled in the coming weeks for Marin County residents to learn more about proposed medical cannabis dispensaries, a review process that is underway at the County of Marin’s Community Development Agency (CDA).
The meetings – January 31, February 7 and February 16 – will be hosted by a new advisory committee that is tasked with soliciting public input on the 10 applications received by the CDA planning staff. The application period closed August 31, 2016, and the meetings are the first opportunity for the applicants to publicly present their proposals.
The County program does not address the use or sale of recreational cannabis. California voters passed Proposition 64 in November 2016 that allows for the sale, regulation, taxation, growth and transportation of cannabis for recreational use, and CDA staff will work throughout 2017 on how the law will be implemented in Marin. By law, no recreational licenses can be issued statewide before January 1, 2018.
The medical cannabis advisory committee, appointed by County Administrator Matthew Hymel, will make its debut at the 6 p.m. January 31 meeting at the Tamalpais Valley Community Center, 203 Marin Avenue, Mill Valley. Four applications in Southern Marin will be reviewed at that meeting.
At the second meeting, set for 6 p.m. February 7 at the Lagunitas School multipurpose room (1 Lagunitas School Road, San Geronimo), two applications for locations in Central and West Marin will be reviewed.
Four locations in North Marin will be discussed at 6 p.m. February 16 in the Marin County Board of Supervisors chamber, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael. Note that it will not be an official Supervisors meeting, and no decisions will be made at any of the three public meetings.
The committee is tasked with presenting recommendations to Hymel regarding which licenses to grant. Later this year, the County could issue licenses for dispensaries to operate in unincorporated areas of the county, but the ordinance allows the option of not issuing any licenses.
The CDA staff reviewed applications and has updated its medical cannabis dispensary program webpage with more information.
The dispensary program, patterned after one adopted in Berkeley, received unanimous support from the Board of Supervisors in May 2016, clearing the way for prospective business owners to start submitting applications by July.
Although cannabis is considered an illegal drug by the federal government, Proposition 215 ensures that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use cannabis for medical purposes upon receiving a recommendation from a physician. The County’s ordinance is consistent with the state’s Compassionate Use Act and Medical Cannabis Program. A licensed dispensary would have to be least 800 feet from schools, public parks, smoke shops, and other cannabis dispensaries to qualify for a permit.
Medical cannabis dispensaries previously had been prohibited in unincorporated Marin, and none are open or permitted in any of the county’s towns or cities. The ordinance establishes a regulatory framework to license nonprofit patient collectives to meet the medical needs of local patients, many of whom have voiced the need for local dispensaries before the Board of Supervisors.
Sign up to receive emailed County updates on CDA’s Medical Cannabis Program webpage. Comments for the advisory committee may be mailed to CDA Planner Inge Lundegaard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inge LundegaardPlanning ManagerCommunity Development Agency
Marin County Civic Center3501 Civic Center DriveSuite 308San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-7023CRS Dial 711Email: Inge LundegaardCDA website