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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Two Applicants Vie for One Pot Permit

• One of the Potential Site Owners Is the Current Mayor

BY BILL KOENEKER


The Malibu Planning Commission will face a thorny issue at its meeting on Feb.15 when it is asked to consider the applications of two different operators who want to set up shop as medical marijuana dispensaries.
The dilemma is more complicated since the city only will allow two permits at any one time for dispensaries to operate in town and one of the permits has already been issued to PCH Collective, which has been operating for several years.
Another twist to the story is one of the pot pharmacies wants to operate out of a building currently owned by outgoing Mayor Jefferson Wagner, who often refers to his surf shop located there as the “second city hall.”
One of the requests is for a permit to operate Malibu Collective Caregivers at 22235 Pacific Coast Highway. The property owner is given as Michael Magee.
The other applicant also seeking a Conditional Use Permit for Twin Lyons Wellness Center at 22775 Pacific Coast Highway. The property is held in the name of Zuma J’s LLC.
When lawmakers created the ordinance setting out the conditions required to obtain a permit, one of the aspects city council members insisted upon pertained to how many dispensaries would be allowed in the city. The council agreed to limit the number.
The code reads, “Numerical Limit. No more than two medical marijuana dispensaries shall be permitted to operate in the city at any time.”
Municipal planner Ha Ly said it is up to the commission how it wants to hear the requests. “We are presenting them as two separate applications,” she said.
Ly indicated it could unfold much like how the planning panel handled two separate applications for the farmers market when two operators were seeking one permit.
“They heard both applicants separately before they made any decision.” Ly said.
Much of the rest of the zoning code deals with where dispensaries can be located and other regulations. Such as the distance from churches temples, schools, playgrounds, parks, day care facilities and each other.
The code also stipulates a number of development and performance standards such as lighting, security, no onsite consumption, hours of operation and use of the doctor’s recommendation, somewhat like, but not a prescription, for patients to obtain the drug.

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