LA MESA, Calif. -- While many cities in San Diego County are looking limit the number of marijuana dispensaries, the City of La Mesa took a big step forward Tuesday in allowing more shops to operate.
At a meeting Tuesday evening, the La Mesa City Council unanimously approved an ordinance at that would allow more legitimate marijuana dispensaries in hopes of driving out illegal operations.
"This ordinance was very smartly designed. It aligns well with the business conditions of the industry today and it does a great job at balancing the concerns of the community in regards to public health and safety," said Alex Share.
Share was one of many who spoke in support of the ordinance. No one in attendance Tuesday night spoke against the ordinance.
Under the new ordinance, current shops operating as medicinal would be able to apply to “co-locate", meaning they could operate also as a recreational shop. Council members hope it would encourage more legal shops and hopefully minimize illegal sales.
Currently, there is one legal dispensary in La Mesa and 17 in the permitting process, but one business falls just short of the 1,000-foot restriction to not be too close to a school. By the end of the night, the city council agreed to change the ordinance and allow all businesses currently in the permitting stage continue. However, any business that applies between now and the beginning of November will have to follow the 1000-foot rule when it comes to being located near a school.
The second reading of this ordinance will take place October 8. If it passes again, it will go into effect 30 days after that.