Choice on Imperial Beach’s marijuana regulations will be up to voters


Imperial Beach could enable an limitless quantity of marijuana dispensaries, lounges and manufacturing companies beneath an initiative that will finish up on the ballot in November 2020.

The City Council voted Wednesday to location the proposal on the ballot — a move that was a bitter pill to swallow for the city, which unsuccessfully attempted to invalidate the initiative in court as it worked to draft its personal regulations.

“We’re compelled to be right here,” City Manager Andy Hall mentioned. “This is a court action.”

The City Council in June rejected a compromise from the group behind the initiative that would have expanded the city’s current regulations to assure two dispensaries and lessen distance specifications — an action that set the stage for the group to move forward with its initiative.

The county Registrar of Voters verified final month that the initiative, place forward by the Association of Cannabis Specialists, had gathered sufficient signatures to qualify as a ballot measure. That left the City Council with two selections: to adopt the regulations or location the initiative prior to voters.

The initiative has irritated Mayor Serge Dedina, who’s scorned proponents and the bigger marijuana market for the duration of current council meetings for what he views as an outdoors group forcing the city’s hand.

“What’s demeaning is obtaining an outdoors market come and shove an initiative, a referendum down our throats to enable for manufacturing — industrial manufacturing — in a residential location. That is crazy,” he mentioned in response to comments from a proponent who mentioned his comments have been demeaning.

“So if you believe … I was demeaning now, wait ‘til the election, simply because you haven’t observed something however. This city will go right after the marijuana market, not simply because we’re against weed or cannabis, but simply because an outdoors market has come right here and shoved this down our throat.”

The initiative, he’s mentioned, has piled on operate and charges to a tiny city that faces big challenges such as sewage spills from across the border.

“The reality is we permitted marijuana to be sold recreationally and that is not sufficient for you guys. You have acted in poor faith,” he mentioned. “It just drives me crazy that we’re wasting our time on this when we spent hours and hours and hours on this, and you guys do not have the great sense to recognize you are coming into a operating-class neighborhood besieged by all sorts of difficulties and you are going to make items worse. It shows an absolute lack of judgment and morality for that matter.”

Proponents mentioned they’re all for a regulated marketplace but really feel that a single dispensary is not sufficient — and that voters who signed the initiative clearly agree.

“This is the really definition of democracy,” proponent Landon Young mentioned in an apparent response to comments from Dedina, who’s recommended that forcing the city’s hand is anti-democratic.

Residents who spoke against the intiative expressed issues about possible impacts on youth, public security and the really feel of the neighborhood.

If authorized by a majority of voters, the measure could potentially replace regulations the City Council authorized in July 2018 that authorize 1 dispensary, with the alternative to permit a second at the council’s discretion.

A assessment of applications for the initially dispensary is underway.

Even though the initiative does not limit the quantity of marijuana companies, it restricts the marketplace to mixed-use zones, which incorporate industrial companies and properties.

Taking into account only separation specifications, the city foresees as numerous as nine dispensaries, 12 lounges and nine manufacturing providers for a total of 30 companies that could be permitted to open shop. Proponents have mentioned they predict eight companies: 3 dispensaries, 3 lounges and two manufacturing providers.

The council voiced assistance for a competing ballot measure and, need to the Association of Cannabis Professionals’ initiative pass, a tax on marijuana companies. Councilman Ed Spriggs mentioned he liked a resident’s suggestion to location the city’s present ordinance on the ballot as a competing measure.

City staffers previously estimated the charges of a competing measure at roughly $20,000 and mentioned the deadline to location a measure on the November 2020 ballot is subsequent summer time.


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