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  City Council Adopts Most Liberal Marijuana Ordinance in California
July 21, 2010

Fron Richmond City Council Chamber, 1:24 AM, July 21, 2010

After rejecting a substitute motion to adopt an ordinance modeled after one recently adopted by Long Beach that would allow three marijuana dispensaries only in C-3 zoned locations, the City Council majority (Ritterman, McLaughlin, Bates and Rogers) approved a version of the ordinance stripped of most of its regulatory components. It would allow an unlimited number of dispensaries in any commercial zone with no separation from sensitive uses such as parks and community centers.

This ordinance, which makes Richmond the most liberal City in California for Marijuana sales will receive its second reading on July 27 and will go into effect almost immediately. The existing illegal dispensaries in Richmond claim to serve as many as 30,000 to 40,000 customers, making Richmond already the leading venue in Contra Costa County. The dispensaries are thought to generate some $100 to $200 million a year in business.

Existing dispensary operators are largely carpetbaggers from other communities that do not allow dispensaries. Most lied on their business license applications and have offered obfuscating and inconsistent information about the business organization and ownership. All are operating in violation of state laws. Needless to say, these unscrupulous individuals will be first in line for one of the unlimited number of permits Richmond now offers.

If enough Richmond residents want a more restricttive ordinance, they have one opportunity on July 27 to get one at the second reading.