|(Nov. 15, 2017, 8:35 a.m.) -- As seen LIVE on LBREPORT.com, the City Council voted 5-3 (Price, Supernaw, Mungo dissenting, Austin absent) on Nov. 14 to direct city management and the city attorney to develop and bring back to the Council a plan to allow Long Beach businesses that would sell "recreational" marijuana (to adults who want to get stoned.)
Long Beach allows the sale of medical marijuana and the agendized item by city management and the city attorney sought Council direction on whether to say "yes" or "no" to allowing the sale of recreational marijuana. Staff's agendizing memo (visible here) took no position pro or con on the issue, leaving the policy to the policy-setting City Council.
Councilwoman Suzie Price made a motion to continue the city's current ban on "recreational" marijuana sales until all 32 allowed medical marijuana dispensaries were up and operating and the results could be evaluated.
Councilwoman Gonzalez made a substitute motion to develop a plan allowing businesses to sell "recreational" marijuana, saying the public had spoken at the ballot box in allowing adult recreational marijuana use.
Vice Mayor/9th dist. Councilman Rex Richardson made a substitute-substitute motion (seconded by Andrews) that built on Gonzalez's motion, arguing that if the Council didn't allow recreational pot shops, the City could face a ballot measure to allow them on terms written by proponents. Richardson's substitute-substitute motion directed development of a plan to allow recreational pot shops that also includes some type of "social equity" and diversity components.
Richardson's substitute-substitute motion passed with the "yes" votes of Councilmembers Gonzalez, Pearce, Andrews, Uranga and Richardson (Austin was present earlier but left before the vote.)
During Council discussion, Mayor Garcia took no position on the issue.
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The action now directs the City Manager to [agenda text] "work with affected City departments to develop recommendations to legalize and regulate Commercial Adult-Use Marijuana Businesses in Long Beach; request City Attorney to prepare a draft ordinance to allow, license, and regulate the retail sale, cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and laboratory testing of adult-use marijuana in Long Beach, based on findings and recommendations of the study conducted by the City Manager; and, in the interim, request City Attorney to prepare a draft ordinance to implement a temporary hold on adult-use marijuana businesses in Long Beach until a commercial adult-use marijuana ordinance can be prepared and presented to the City Council."
Until city management and the city attorney prepare a recreationl pot shop plan and ordinance, a 180 day ban on rec pot operations will be brought to the Council for approval.
City staff indicated that the rec pot plan it proposes may recommend co-locating the rec pot shops in or near some of the 32 med pot locations allowed (two are currently operating) under a LB petition-initiated, LB voter-approved (Nov. 2016) ballot measure (MM).
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