The Merced City Council will take up proposed regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries on Monday, hoping to break the deadlock it reached last week due to the absence of one member.
The city is considering whether to implement its own process to regulate medical marijuana or wait for state rules that aren’t expected until 2018.
During the July 5 meeting, councilmen Michael Belluomini, Kevin Blake and Josh Pedrozo supported having dispensaries sooner, while Mayor Stan Thurston and councilmen Tony Dossetti and Mike Murphy supported waiting for the state to develop a regulatory agency.
Councilman Noah Lor was absent, so the issue was put off until this week.
The City Council has held three meetings to discuss medicinal marijuana and hear from the public. On April 20, the council directed staff to prepare an ordinance regulating four marijuana dispensaries in professional or commercial office zones and planned developments with office zones. Dispensaries would have to be away from schools, parks, youth and recreation centers, and libraries.
The proposed ordinance would allow deliveries and allow people with medicinal marijuana cards to grow 12 immature or six mature plants indoors or outdoors as long as they are not visible from adjacent properties or the street.
The draft zoning ordinance went before the Planning Commission in May, which voted to change it to limit the total number of plants grown to only six and only indoors, and allow dispensaries in light and heavy industrial zones.
During Monday’s meeting, the council also will consider the purchase of 21 car computer systems for police patrol vehicles for $100,000, using funds from the Merced County Remote Access Network, and the purchase of 21 Panasonic Toughbook laptop computer systems for 21 patrol cars, piggybacking on a contract with Sacramento County at a cost not to exceed $92,492.
A proposal to put another tile art project in Bob Hart Square also is on the agenda.
A closed session will be held at 6:30 p.m. to discuss existing litigation on a workers compensation case.
The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the second floor of the Merced Civic Center, 678 W. 18 St.
City Council meetings are streamed live, with a link available on the city’s website at https://cityofmerced.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx. The meeting also is broadcast on Comcast’s Government Channel 96.