Temple City Bans Pot Dispensaries, Changes Fireworks Permit Process

No business will be allowed to sell marijuana, while new firework permits to be determined by lot.

Written by VINCENT WEI / Published December 9, 2011

Temple City officials on Tuesday introduced two ordinances that amend the municipal code.

The first ordinance permanently bans the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries in Temple City. The second ordinance changes the procedure to obtain a permit to sell fireworks.

Ordinance 11-942 “prohibits all commercial medical marijuana dispensaries,” Community Development Manager Joseph Lambert stated during the March 1, 2011 city council meeting.

The new law, however, will not prevent medical marijuana patients from purchasing and using the substance.

“The draft ordinance was crafted to prohibit medical marijuana businesses, but will not infringe on the rights of qualified individuals to do otherwise,” Lambert said.

The ban on pot dispensaries in Temple City has technically been in place since April 2009 when the City Council adopted the first moratorium. Two extensions were later granted in June 2009 and most recently, last April.

Given that three temporary ordinances have already been adopted, Temple City could not adopt a fourth urgency ordinance, City Attorney Eric Vail stated.

“We really don’t have any other option,” he said. “We think this is the best and most defendable approach.”

While the federal government criminalizes the use of marijuana, whether it is for medical purposes or not, the state of California allows the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Vail stated that state law was still “muddy” over how cities who did not want pot dispensaries could respond.

Councilmember Carl Blum stated that “This is what needs to be done at this time.”

The vote to adopt the ordinance was 5-0.

The City Council also unanimously adopted Ordinance 11-943, which changes the procedure in which new fireworks permits are allocated.

City Attorney Vail said that previously permits were awarded on a “first come, first served” basis. The new ordinance changes the process into a lottery system.

Current city law allows up to 12 permits to sell fireworks. That will not change, Vail affirmed.

Both ordinances still require a second approval before they take effect.



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