Vallejo tweaks medical marijuana rules

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Vallejo will need to follow new rules if they want to stay open, the city announced Thursday.

The Vallejo City Council voted Tuesday to adopt an ordinance that would allow dispensaries to continue operating if they show that they received a marijuana tax certificate before a moratorium on dispensaries was passed in early 2013, and have paid local and state taxes as well, city officials said.

Additionally, the ordinance also requires that dispensaries prove they are located at least 1,000 feet from a school and at least 2,000 feet away from another dispensary, according to city officials.

If a dispensary can meet all of the requirements of the ordinance, it will receive limited civil immunity from the city through a letter from the city attorney, according to city officials.

Dispensaries receiving the immunity will be subject to ongoing measures such as onsite inspections, as well as allowing access to inventory and accounting records, city officials said.

City Manager Daniel Keen said in a statement:

“The adoption of this ordinance allows the city to move forward with the regulation of certain dispensaries. …¬†We believe the ordinance is fair and will provide access consistent with state law.”

Dispensaries that do not meet the requirements of the new ordinance could face closure.

The legislation adopted by the city council was the result of collaborative discussions between the staff, dispensary owners, patients, community members and labor representatives, city officials said.

Also on Tuesday, the council repealed an ordinance that would have limited the number of dispensaries in the city to four, chosen through a competitive process.

However, a referendum petition that garnered enough signatures blocked the ordinance’s implementation. By law, the council had to either forward the ordinance to the ballot at a general or special election or repeal it, city officials said.