Sunday, October 21 , 2018, 6:29 am | Fair 58º


Santa Barbara Council Committee Resumes Medical Marijuana Debate

Tuesday's ordinance hearing to tackle locations, regulations, legality

Medical marijuana dispensaries will again dominate the Santa Barbara City Council’s Ordinance Committee meeting — but this time, the committee members’ discussion Tuesday may last longer than a half-hour.

After the March 16 meeting, the committee continued the discussion of locations, operational regulations and the legality of the dispensary model, so there may not be a public comment period. For the last nine months of ordinance revision discussions, comment has taken up most of each meeting’s time, leaving council members with little time to discuss the issues among themselves.

If comment is closed, interested parties can submit comments by e-mail to Councilmen Frank Hotchkiss (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)), Grant House (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) and Harwood “Bendy” White (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)), the committee members.

Along with specific decisions such as a city-wide cap and allowable locations for dispensaries, the committee must make distinctions between the storefront and collective distribution models for medical marijuana. There are three permitted dispensaries under the previous city ordinance, and all other applications — of which there are many — have been halted in their progress by a moratorium passed late last year.

Tuesday’s meeting begins at 11 a.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 735 Anacapa St. There is one other item on the agenda, the Neighborhood Preservation Ordinance two-year review, scheduled for 11 a.m., and the marijuana ordinance discussions will begin afterward. It’s possible the item won’t be discussed until after the 30-minute recess from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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