The Shasta Lake City Council on Tuesday will consider a request by Councilwoman Dolores Lucero to possibly ban medical marijuana dispensaries.

There are two dispensaries in town, the Queen of Dragons on Shasta Dam Boulevard and the 530 Collective on Locust Avenue.

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Jamie Kerr, founder and CEO of the 530 Collective said Friday she doesn’t expect the city to pass an urgency ordinance banning the collectives outright.

“I respect the city not wanting to be liable to trigger federal pre-emption, and I obviously want to keep my doors open,” Kerr said. “I believe there are a few options that can accomplish both those goals.”

Kerr said she hopes the city stops issuing permits to the collectives, while still allowing them to continue to operate under the city’s medical marijuana ordinance.

She says the ruling that prompted Shasta County supervisors to ban dispensaries in their jurisdiction last week and the Redding City Council to do the same last month is being interpreted incorrectly.

Both agencies were reacting to a recent state court ruling out of Long Beach, which said federal anti-marijuana laws trumped the city’s medical marijuana ordinance. The ruling, in essence, said Long Beach’s council members were breaking federal law by licensing collectives.

Kerr said the judge who issued the ruling made it quite clear it was just a licensing issue, and the there was no reason to ban the collectives outright.

She points to a summary of the case posted on the California State Association of Counties website.

“The decision clearly does not affect dispensary bans, but it does appear that bans are not mandated by the opinion either. Toleration remains permissible,” the summary says.

If council members wish, the city can draft an interim urgency ordinance banning the collectives. They’d have to include the reasons “why there is a current and immediate threat to the public health safety or welfare,” according to the city’s agenda, which notes the city hasn’t received any nuisance complaints. A draft of the ordinance would be voted on at its Jan. 3 meeting. A potential ban also could be referred to the planning commission for further review.

If the council eventually approves an urgency ordinance it would require a four-fifths vote.

If the council does choose to follow Kerr’s suggestion, the city would simply have to let the collectives’ permits expire in the months ahead. Kerr’s collective license expires in April. Queen of Dragons’ expires in March.

City Attorney John Kenny already has told the council they should not approve permit renewals for the two collectives, citing the Long Beach case.

Lucero didn’t return a message left Friday at her office.

Kerr said Lucero called her about a month ago to tell her she was planning to introduce a potential ban.

“I’m not caught off guard at all,” Kerr said.

A call made Friday afternoon to Queen of Dragons wasn’t answered.

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Source: Record Searchlight (Redding, CA)
Copyright: 2011 Record Searchlight
Contact: [email protected]
Website: http://www.redding.com/