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Temporary ban on new Morro Bay marijuana dispensaries

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With the future of California’s for-profit medical marijuana dispensaries still up in the air, the Morro Bay City Council is taking no chances on the exact interpretation of the Obama administration’s hands-off policy.

After the city received some inquiries about its policies on the dispensaries, City Attorney Rob Schultz recommended that the City Council ban the establishments “until such time as the tension between state and federal law is resolved.”

Schultz wrote in a staff report, “The ongoing conflict between federal and state law on this subject has created a dilemma for local governments and their law enforcement agencies.”

The council voted on April 27 to temporarily ban medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits. Before the ban expires in October, the staff will prepare an ordinance that would allow medical marijuana cooperatives, identifying the appropriate location and sales taxes for this type of not-for-profit facility.

At an earlier meeting in April when the ban was first introduced, Mayor Janice Peters said the previous dispensary in the city—owned by Charles Lynch—was run strictly according to city codes. She said she does not want to place anyone else at the same risk as Lynch.

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