Council set to make dispensary decision by Sept. 19

Canisters of marijuana are marked for medical use only at Purple Cross Rx in 2010. The dispensary shut down after the county and city outlawed the operations.

Hollister City Council members Monday voted 4-1 in support of making a decision by Sept. 19 on a new Medicinal Marijuana Administrative Ordinance that would allow pot dispensaries in town for the first time since 2010.

According to Monday’s agenda, the Medicinal Marijuana Administrative Ordinance would “provide for cultivation, dispensing, manufacturing processes to be performed on, and other ancillary services provided to Medicinal Marijuana businesses.”

The decision, after many public comments, followed an Aug. 4 public hearing in the Veterans Memorial Building where around 200 people voiced their support and opposition to the local ordinance.

Council members have to approve another reading of the ordinance to make it official. They plan to do so Sept. 19, according to Monday’s vote.

Mayor Ignacio Velazquez had hoped to hold two or three more public meetings on the marijuana ordinance before a decision. He has expressed concern with state issues and wants a slower process before the Jan. 1 deadline set for local communities.

Councilmen Karson Klauer and Ray Friend are on a city medicinal marijuana subcommittee to research the topic and created proposed rules for the elected panel to weigh.

Those council members in their research reviewed the state’s new Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, which is made up of three separate state bills: AB 243, AB 266, and SB 643. All three bills were enacted Sept. 11, 2015.

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