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City Extends Ban on Pot Clubs

The extension of a moratorium issued last year will prohibit medicinal marijuana dispensaries from opening in Union City for another year.

City Extends Ban on Pot Clubs

The City of Union City has extended a temporary ban prohibiting medicinal marijuana dispensaries from opening within city boundaries.

City Council approved the extension 5-0 last Tuesday.

The temporary moratorium was initially adopted last year on Jan. 24, 2012 following the opening of CHA Wellness Center, a dispensary that was located at 34695 Alvarado-Niles Rd. According to city staff, the dispensary never had legal permission to operate in Union City.

The moratorium banned the approval of business licenses or permits for medical marijuana dispensaries, along with the sale and distribution of medicinal marijuana, for a period of 45 days. An extension was issued on Feb. 28, 2012 for an additional 10 months and 15 days.

The new extension is the last that can be issued on the moratorium, according to a staff report.

It is set to expire Jan. 24, 2014.

According to a staff report, the moratorium was extended to “protect the public health, safety and welfare and provide staff additional time to study how to best address the potential imminent threats to public safety, health, and welfare resulting from medical marijuana dispensaries.”

Local regulation of dispensaries and pot clubs has been the subject of recent California Supreme Court cases, several of which are currently under review.

“In light of the Supreme Court's granting of review of these cases, any cases that the City previously relied upon regarding medical marijuana establishments are no longer cited as controlling law, and it is uncertain what potential impacts the Supreme Court's decision will have on the ever changing developments in medical marijuana regulation,” City Attorney Benjamin Reyes wrote in a Jan. 8 staff report.

Do you think medicinal marijuana dispensaries should be allowed to operate in Union City? Tell us in the comments section below.

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