El Cerrito’s City Council Sets Rules for Two Pot Dispensaries

In preparation for California’s legalization of recreational marijuana next year, the city of El Cerrito has laid out ground rules for a pair of dispensaries that will shoulder the demand in the area once the new rule takes effect.

The motion decided by the City Council on Tuesday is a positive conclusion to a long legislative process repealing a 2006 ordinance that prohibits the establishment of marijuana dispensaries and the sales of cannabis within city limits.

Operation, establishment rules

The ground rules cover how the two dispensaries will operate under the law to make sure the safety of the community is secured and the drug is not abused.

As part of the application process, the identified dispensaries will have to undergo background checks, provide a business as well as a security plan, and they must be able to establish how the drug will serve and benefit the community.

Included in the rules are:

  • The banning of marijuana smoking within dispensaries
  • Measures to protect supply
  • Measures to limit the amount of cash stored within the dispensaries’ premises
  • The location of the dispensaries
  • Designated distance from parks and schools
  • Designated distance from other marijuana establishments or businesses

To revisit

The council will reconsider the ordinance on December 19. If it passes, it would be effective as of recreational marijuana’s state legalization on January 18, 2018.

Councilwoman Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto says there are still many parts of the ordinance that the council needs to discuss including the prohibition of consumption within cannabis localities and the cultivation of the plant by the city’s residents.

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