City council considers allowing cannabis lounges

SAN DIEGO — San Diego is considering allowing cannabis businesses to open lounges where customers can smoke or eat the product on site, it was reported Monday.

Some members of the San Diego City Council’s economic development committee said they were open to the proposal but wanted more information, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Councilman Chris Ward, chairman of the committee, asked the city’s independent budget analyst to conduct an analysis of consumption lounges and provide the results to the committee, the Union-Tribune reported.

Councilwoman Monica Montgomery told the newspaper that she wants to see the specific regulations in other cities that allow consumption lounges, and she would like to see if they would have any challenges regulating them.

Cannabis industry leaders also want expanded hours at dispensaries, with city regulations limiting operations to between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. while state regulations allow operations between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., according to the Union-Tribune.

Industry leaders also urged city officials to consider expanding the number of dispensaries.

City regulations approved in 2014 allow a maximum of 36 dispensaries in San Diego, but five years later 21 dispensaries have been approved and only 14 of those have opened.

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