Monday the San Diego City Council came to a decision to legalize marijuana cultivation, distribution, manufacturing and testing businesses inside city limits. These new regulations directed at the supply chain establishments that provide services for legal dispensaries have immediately gone into effect. The businesses that do not comply with these new rules in the next year will be forced to shut their doors.
During the Council meeting, both sides of the issue were allowed to state their case. San Diego Police Department Chief Shelley Zimmerman discussed her concerns about crime spikes since the legalization of marijuana last November, citing 272 incidents ranging from robberies to shootings. Councilman Chris Ward, however, spoke a different story, and stating he believes the new regulations will allow for safer distribution and does not foresee a detrimental impact to public safety. Ward presented an amendment to a previous ruling that there could only be 2 marijuana related facilities per district, to a cap of 40 businesses city wide. Ward likened this discussion to previous challenges with the craft beer industry in San Diego.
“Would we tell Stone Brewery that we wanted them to actually manufacture everything in Riverside County and truck it down? Would we tell Ballast Point they can only grow their hops up in Humboldt?” said Ward.
While this appears to be a step in the right direction to prevent monopolies in the marijuana industry, it will be along road of regulations evolving over time as problems arise. Councilwoman Barbara Bry, who voted in the majority, presented a long list of regulations last month will be reviewed and voted on by the council in the coming months. Regulations regarding labor laws and delivery services will also be discussed in the near future.