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Santa Monica’s Marijuana Study Session Moved to March  

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By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

February 24, 2017 -- City officials had said late last year that the Santa Monica City Council would hold a study session on marijuana business licensing in February, but that meeting has apparently been moved to March.

A statement on the government website says that City staff “currently anticipates conducting a study session with [the] council on [March 7] with additional meetings likely to follow.”

There are no licensed marijuana dispensaries in Santa Monica, and that status is not expected to change in the immediate future.

The City says it will not accept applications for “any cannabis-related businesses” until the council has reviewed “necessary local regulations for marijuana uses.”

The status of marijuana in California was radically changed in November when voters approved Proposition 64, which legalized the drug for recreational use.

Marijuana has been legal in California for medical use since 1996.

Proposition 64 requires that the State begin issuing marijuana business license by January 1, 2018. That does not necessarily mean legal pot shops will appear in the city.

Santa Monica has not been welcoming for the marijuana industry.

In November 2009, the City Council declined to act on a request by a group of senior citizens that anted to open a local dispensary ("Council May Consider Pot Dispensaries," November 5, 2009).

The council subsequently approved moratoriums and is yet to grant the first permit for a medical marijuana dispensary.

Two years ago the council approved a zoning ordinance allowing up to two medical marijuana dispensaries in Santa Monica (“Santa Monica Moves Closer to Opening Medical Marijuana Dispensaries,” July 30, 2015).

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