When it comes to figuring out how to regulate pot shops, Santa Monica officials are still in the haze.
What was to be a temporary moratorium was extended Tuesday by 10 months and 15 days at the request of city planning staffers. They told the City Council they need more time to research their regulatory options, especially when it comes to conflicting state and federal laws and the impacts dispensaries would have on the community.
The extension was approved with a 6-0 vote.
The moratorium says the city won't issue business license or permits for medical marijuana dispensaries seeking to open shop in Santa Monica. City staffers had previously called the operations a "risk to the public peace, health and safety."
Santa Monica's existing zoning codes don't permit or contain any regulations for dispensaries, which appears to be at odds with rulings from the courts tht local governments can't completely ban them. Meanwhile, "other California cities which have authorized [medical marijuana] facilities have experienced significant detrimental secondary impacts associated with their operation," city staffers have said.
A public meeting on the topic is scheduled for Jan. 24.
The initial 45-day moratorium was adopted Oct. 2. It can be extended up to a total of 22 months.