Economic Development Committee weighs in on medical marijuana businesses

Economic Development Committee weighs in on medical marijuana businesses
Courtesy photo


OCEANSIDE — City staff shared the Medical Marijuana Ad-hoc Committee’s guideline for allowing cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, testing laboratories, nurseries and storefront sales of medical marijuana with the city’s Economic Development Committee on March 1.

Deanna Lorson, assistant city manager, gave an overview of proposed city regulations, which mirror state requirements. They include a business plan, security plan with onsite 24/7 security and a 1,000-feet separation requirement between marijuana businesses and sensitive uses, such as schools, parks and churches.

Growth, manufacturing and sales would be logged on a statewide track and trace system to ensure accountability.

Employees of marijuana businesses must pass a police criminal background check and be 21 or older. Signage of businesses is limited to the business name and address, without logos or banners.

Additionally, all marijuana businesses in the city are restricted to east of Interstate 5.

Medical marijuana dispensaries are limited to four, and it is suggested to begin with two the first year.

The city would gain minimal revenues from business licenses and property taxes. Regulatory fees could be used to offset city costs. Further tax on marijuana businesses would need voter approval.

A February meeting with the Police and Fire Commission drew safety concerns from the police chief and fire chief. There is unease marijuana businesses would increase crime, loitering, panhandling and marijuana-related DUI traffic accidents. There is also concern businesses will cause increased marijuana-related medical and ambulance services, a danger of smoke exposure if a fire occurs at a marijuana business and demands on lifeguards to enforce a smoking ban on city beaches.

The committee did not recommend sending the ad hoc committee’s recommendations to City Council.

Speakers at the Economic Development Committee meeting were largely supportive of medical marijuana businesses. Comments included reduction of black market sales, increased city revenues, marijuana’s legality, city control and safe patient access.

An Oceanside farmer said she is excited about the opportunity to grow the crop.

Commissioners suggested a tax structure be developed and monies be earmarked for public safety, to address homelessness, and fund other city services.

“Not to have taxation, I think it would be a mistake,” Commissioner Matt Altman said.

Commission consensus was to take it slow in adding marijuana businesses. Commissioners said it is important that businesses do not negate the city.

Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery, the ad hoc committee chair, said marijuana businesses have approached the city with million-dollar offers to be first in line to open a business.

Lowery added farmers can make $600 to $900 a pound growing marijuana compared to a $2 a pound profit for fruit and vegetable crops.

“This is the money that’s out there,” Lowery said.

Commissioners stressed the importance of the integrity of the city over tempting business offers.

“To me personally it’s very important to be mindful of the city’s reputation as we move forward,”

Commission Chair Tyrone Matthews said.

City staff will share meeting notes when it brings an ordinance forward to the Planning Commission March 12, and City Council March 28.

  1. Khristie 11 months ago

    You have bars, liquor stores and strip clubs, but you’re worried that marijuana businesses will cause more crime? Do you realize that alcohol causes anger and hostility and a lot of drunk driving. Marijuana causes the munchies and binge watching Netflix. You’re argument against it doesn’t hold water. You realize we’re a California beach community right? Marijuana is legal now, and should be accessible to the residents and tourists in Oceanside. It’ll only enhance our city.

  2. iam he 10 months ago

    I am laughing my butt off……. at the city’s regulations, and laws… concerning this issue…

    it’s pretty much harmless weed…… a nicer buzz than alcohol…

    every one should be able to grow a few plants and do what they want with it…

    21 year age limit…….


  3. Oceansidevotes 10 months ago

    While everybody knows the voters approved medical marijuana, the feds have not. It’s still against the law in the eye of the federal government. This whole subject has been brought forward by two corrupt council men Kern and Lowery without including input from our Police, Fire and City staff. Anybody can have marijuana delivered to them in Oceanside; do we really need dispensaries. The black market will never go away and yes you can smoke pot that has been laced with chemicals that can cause paranoia and blackouts. So for those of you who seem to think it’s harmless, you are sadly mistaken. People that smoke pot get stoned. What does that mean? It basically numbs all of reality so that you don’t have to face reality. And when it wears off, you smoke more. So wake up and realize that marijuana is not the cure all. For those who use for pain and medicinal purposes, same thing, it allegedly numbs the pain but if it worked so great then why do we still have opioids and narcotics. Oceanside has came along way…we use to be called Oceanslime..because of all of the drugs, gangs, rapes and we really want to sink back to Oceanslime?

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