After they were lit up by a vocal group of critics, Pismo Beach City Council members declined to pursue a ban on mobile medical marijuana dispensaries during their March 3 meeting.
Following about 45 minutes of discussion, no council member was willing to make a motion to approve the mobile dispensary ban, effectively killing the proposal.
Just two weeks prior, the same council unanimously voted to introduce the ban and send it down the path toward approval. That Feb. 17 action didn’t draw any public comment, but the March 3 meeting was a different story.
- FILE PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
- BEST BUDS?: Though the Pismo Beach City Council unanimously supported a ban on mobile medical marijuana dispensaries on Feb. 17, the council unanimously agreed to drop the ban two weeks later.
Pismo Beach resident Tony Hyman, 76, was particularly passionate as he told the council that medical pot is the only medication that’s helped with his tremors.
“[This ban] is as full of groundless fear as a Grade-B horror movie,” he said.
Owners or managers from three local delivery services—Ethnobotanica, Dub’s Green Garden, and Hemp Zone—all spoke at the March 3 meeting, telling the council that passing the ban would criminalize what they feel is a legitimate business.
“Please reconsider your stance on this issue,” said Geoff Roberts, an Ethnobotanica manager. “Don’t push medical cannabis back into the black market.”
Councilman Ed Waage admitted that hearing stories about how medical marijuana gave relief to sickly relatives made him reconsider his stance on the issue.
“I’ve been moved by the comments we’ve had this evening,” Waage said. “I don’t want to go forward with this [ban] until I get more information.”
Although the four council members present still expressed concerns about marijuana’s impact on the community, none of them chose to advocate for outlawing mobile dispensaries. Councilman Erik Howell was absent.
In a conversation with New Times, City Attorney Dave Fleishman emphasized that “brick and mortar” dispensaries are still forbidden in Pismo Beach. However, Fleishman said the city will now approve business license applications for mobile dispensaries, provided the applicant meets all paperwork requirements.
Correction: The March 5 article “Pismo council backtracks on pot” misstated the nature of a local business. Hemp Zone in Pismo Beach is a head shop. (March 11, 2015)