California recently became one of the most welcoming states in the union to use and sell cannabis, i.e. marijuana products. Escondido is choosing to buck that trend by exercising the option of banning sales and medical dispensaries.
That doesn’t trump state law, which has made it legal to use recreational pot, but it does make it considerably harder to buy the product legally in city limits.
At last Wednesday’s council meeting, the city council further refined its ordinances regarding cannabis by adopting Ordinance No. 2017-03, which amends Article 57 (Miscellaneous Use Restrictions) of the Escondido Zoning Code and Chapter 17 (Offenses- Miscellaneous Provisions) of the Municipal Code to regulate all cannabis and marijuana-based land uses and activities to the extent permitted by state law.
The new ordinance updated definitions and terms related to cannabis and marijuana-related products to align with the definitions provided within State law; 2) expand the prohibition of marijuana dispensaries to also prohibit any form of marijuana business, trade, or industry; and 3) establish an exception to the prohibitions therein to allow private noncommercial use or lawful delivery or transport to the extent permitted under State law.
The newly adopted ordinance also updated the city’s Social Host Ordinance to make it illegal to provide an environment where minors consume cannabis or any other controlled substances.
This followed a recommendation by the Planning Commission.
Mayor Sam Abed reflected his council when he declared, “Escondido is making the toughest restrictions allowed by law. We are given the authority to restrict things. The community doesn’t want it.”
One speaker during the hearing praised the ordinance, saying it would help people be more aware when they were having parties that they could be held liable.
Another speaker asked that a sentence be added to the ordinance reminding everyone that marijuana continues to be a federally controlled substance, despite state law.