State Supreme Court Hearing On Pot Clubs Could Affect Peninsula Cities

Half Moon Bay is one of many cities whose dispensary ban on medical marijuana facilities will be affected by the ruling.

Whether cities such as Half Moon Bay, San Bruno, Millbrae and South San Francisco can ban medical marijuana dispensaries will be the topic of a high-stakes court hearing.

On Tuesday, the California Supreme Court heard arguments on whether communities can prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries in light of the 1996 voter-approved law legalizing pot for medicinal uses in California.

As detailed in a San Jose Mercury News story, the hearing stems from a Southern California case where a wellness center sued to overturn Riverside's ban on marijuana dispensaries.

Half Moon Bay, Millbrae, San Bruno and South San Francisco are among more than 10 Peninsula and South Bay cities that have some sort of prohibition in place.

Even though many of Pacifica's immediate neighbors like Half Moon Bay and San Bruno have banned medical-marijuana collectives outright, Pacifica has not taken sides on the pot club issue, since there's no official policy in place.

Pacifica did shut a cannabis dispensary down on Palmetto Avenue in 2011, and the city council denied its appeal to reopen. In March of 2012, another cannabis-related business called Cannabis Wellness Center reportedly opened in Pacifica but the location of it was never verified. In the meantime, whether or not medical cannabis dispensaries should be banned Pacifica is yet to be determined.

South San Francisco's ban was approved in 2011, a reversal of city policy following years of incremental steps toward allowing pot clubs.

San Bruno also prohibited medical marijuana dispensaries in 2011, just as a two-year moratorium on the establishments was set to expire.

Millbrae adopted an ordinance in 2010 that banned medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits.

Iin 2010, Half Moon Bay adopted an ordinance prohibiting the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries.

Other Santa Clara and San Mateo cities with bans are East Palo Alto, Gilroy, Hollister, Los Gatos, Morgan Hill, Palo Alto and Sunnyvale.

There are 21 East Bay cities with bans and two on the Monterey Bay that prohibit medicinal marijuana dispensaries.

A decision is expected in the spring.

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Shannon Arakaki February 06, 2013 at 09:46 PM


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