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Riverside may temporarily ban marijuana businesses

By in Press Enterprise on July 26, 2017

By Alicia Robinson

Within two months, the Riverside City Council will vote on a short-term ban on sales, manufacturing and growing of recreational marijuana.

The moratorium would give city officials time to draft rules to regulate pot businesses, if the council decides to allow them. It would initially last for 45 days but could be extended up to two years total.

State rules that help implement Prop. 64, a November measure that legalized adult use of marijuana in California, are due in January.

City Councilman Chuck Conder, who was elected in June, is unequivocally opposed to marijuana cultivation and sale in the city, but other councilmen have said they want to see the city’s options before they decide.

On Tuesday, July 25, the council asked the city manager to bring back a moratorium and more information on how tightly the city could regulate pot businesses.

For example, City Councilman Mike Gardner said he’d like to see any pot businesses be at least 1,000 feet from homes. State law already keeps them away from schools, day care centers and other youth facilities. Gardner also asked if the city could require pot shops to install cameras and give Riverside police access to them.

Conder appears unlikely to support any proposal that allows marijuana to be grown or sold in the city. He said Tuesday that if pot sales were permitted, crime would increase.

“Our businesses are going to fail,” he said, and others “don’t want to come here as business owners knowing that you’ve got a drug town.”

More discussion and a vote on the issue are expected in about 60 days.

Medical marijuana dispensaries and delivery services already are banned in Riverside. The city has vigilantly fought to close down more than 100 medical pot shops that opened illegally over the past decade.

To ban or not to ban

Riverside officials are debating […]    

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