Supervisors Repeal Plan to Regulate Marijuana Collectives Existing ban on marijuana dispensaries remains in place, allowing code enforcement to cite illegal marijuana shops
RIVERSIDE – The Riverside County Board of Supervisors today halted a plan to regulate medical marijuana collectives, leaving in place an existing ban on dispensaries that allows code enforcement officers to crack down on storefront operations popping up around the county.
The move comes on the heels of recent bans in Los Angeles and Orange counties and a Riverside County Superior Court ruling that the City of Riverside can use its zoning power to ban medical marijuana dispensaries. Without a similar ban in place, Riverside County likely would become a magnet for Southern California dispensaries and criminal enterprises.
“It is very possible if we don’t take some action, we could be the dumping ground for medical marijuana dispensaries from throughout Southern California,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit, the measure’s co-author. “Today’s action is in sync with two large Southern California counties.”
Supervisor Jeff Stone, who also signed the measure, said the move is necessary if Riverside County wants to avoid becoming a magnet for the dispensaries.
“The bottom line here is public safety,” Stone said. “We need to make sure we curb the abuse of marijuana, the distribution of marijuana to people that aren’t utilizing it for medical use but rather recreational use, and the crime, morbidity and mortality associated with that.”
Riverside County’s existing ban, Ordinance No. 348, mirrors those enacted in Los Angeles and Orange counties and is similar to those passed in other local governments across the state. Code enforcement officers will be enforcing the ordinance against dispensaries that have been operating in violation of the ban.
In September, the Board adopted an order directing public safety and planning departments to work with county counsel to draft an ordinance regulating the collective or cooperative cultivation of medical marijuana. Today’s 5-0 vote repeals that order.