“We are [introducing] a moratorium tonight to give the City Council more time to look at the implications of either banning or allowing medical marijuana dispensaries,” Councilwoman Laura Friedman said.
The moratorium would take effect immediately if it’s approved next week. Under state law, the moratorium can be extended up to two years.
There are no dispensaries within city limits, but city officials said interest has increased recently. What had been a couple of inquiries a year has turned into several within the last few months, they said.
The outside interest and evolving legal landscape led officials to propose the moratorium so they could study the legal issues swirling around the controversial businesses and bring back recommendations to the council.
A major issue is the conflict between state law, which allows for the use of small amounts of medically prescribed marijuana, and federal law, which bans it.
The legal ambiguity has meant complications in court for several Southland cities that have tried to explicitly ban all medical marijuana dispensaries outright. The results of those cases will be followed closely by city attorneys, said City Atty. Scott Howard.
“The good news is Glendale is not at the forefront of this issue,” he said.
Meanwhile, Oakland residents on July 21 voted overwhelmingly to levy an $18 tax per $1,000 of medical marijuana sold. A week earlier, a Los Angeles city councilwoman proposed consideration of a similar tax. And a proposed state ballot measure would move the tax statewide, allowing those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of pot, although it still needs more than 430,000 signatures to qualify for the November ballot.