City Bans Medical Marijuana Dispensaries for Another Year

Unclear legal circumstances is a reason for the renewal, the City Attorney says.

Written by RAYMOND TRAN / Published December 17, 2010

The city of Temple City on Tuesday renewed a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in Temple City, as well as a ban prohibiting businesses from distributing pot.

City councilmembers unanimously approved interim urgency ordinance 10-933U during its April 6, 2010 city council meeting. The ordinance extends an existing ban on medical marijuana for 12 months.

“We’re back with you tonight to request a final one-year extension of that ordinance,” City Attorney Eric Vail said before the vote. “Your adoption of Ordinance No. 10-933U would continue our current ban on medical marijuana dispensaries for one year.”

Vail recommended the adoption of the new ordinance because “state law continues to be in a state of flux” over the issue, he said.

The city attorney told councilmembers that neither City Hall nor his legal firm’s staff could write an official ordinance related to the issue that would “withstand judicial scrutiny.”

All councilmembers agreed with Vail’s advice.

“The prudent and reasonable thing is to extend the moratorium,” Mayor Pro Tempore Tom Chavez said.

He added, “The last thing we want to do is to enact regulations that either won’t stand up to existing law or future laws down the road.”

In April 2009, the City Council first passed emergency ordinance 09-925U, which prohibited the establishment or the operating of a medical marijuana dispensary for 45 days.

The following June, the City Council passed emergency ordinance 09-026U, continuing that ban for an additional 10 months and 15 days. That would have expired this month.

Section 2 of the emergency ordinance, 10-933U, reads, “no use permit, variance, building permit, or any other entitlement for use shall be accepted, processed, approved, or issued for the establishment or operation of, and no person shall otherwise establish, a ‘medical marijuana dispensary’ and no existing business shall begin dispensing medical marijuana.”

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