By Greyson Howard, published on TheUnion.com
Grass Valley leaders decided to explore two tracks regarding medical marijuana — creating an ordinance to allow dispensaries and another ordinance banning them outright.
At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, council members voted unanimously to have staff create both ordinances, to be reviewed by both the Planning Commission and City Council before the city’s moratorium expires Feb. 23.
“They wanted to look at an ordinance that would provide for allowance, and also a ban if they don’t like that ordinance,” said City Administrator Dan Holler.
While the vote to pursue the dual tracks was unanimous, the council was conflicted on the issue of medical marijuana, he added.
“They wanted to take a look at it as a medical necessity in some cases that would benefit some of our residents, but there is also a strong belief that the Prop 215 scrip process is abused,” Holler said.
An ordinance allowing medical marijuana dispensaries would include rules such as a minimum distance from schools and no consumption on site, but there is a general consensus in the law enforcement community that medical dispensaries increase work for police, Holler said.
“The council struggled back and forth. We don’t have all the medical necessities here in Grass Valley, so not having this would not be unique,” Holler said.
A few members of the public spoke in favor of allowing the dispensaries, he said.
With the City Council’s guidance, staff will have the two ordinances ready for the Planning Commission in December.
But if planning commissioners defer or continue the discussion, that will put the city behind its deadline of Feb. 23, so a ban would have to be put in place, Holler said.
That doesn’t mean City Council couldn’t repeal the ban and put an ordinance in place later, Holler said.