Northern California

Alameda OKs ban on smoking marijuana in public places

ALAMEDA — Just one cannabis nursery and two medicinal dispensaries will be allowed in the city under rules adopted by the Alameda City Council early Wednesday morning.

The new ordinance also bans people from smoking marijuana in public places and in multi-family housing — mirroring the city’s regulations already in place for tobacco — but allows on-site use at the dispensaries.

The nursery and dispensaries cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a school or recreational center.

Pot clubs are banned under the ordinance, which also limits businesses that manufacture cannabis to four and the number of testing labs to two.

The council’s adoption came about 2:15 a.m. after it heard from approximately 20 public speakers, some of whom asked for the rules to be loosened to allow people to set up businesses that would only deliver marijuana.

They said it would provide a way for entrepreneurs and those without much financial backing to break into the industry, and that it would help keep the industry local.

The council kept the prohibition, however.

Some council members called the new rules a “go-slow approach” toward regulating pot in town.

Medical marijuana, dispensed through licensed businesses and regulated through a doctor’s prescription, has been legal for two decades. Last November, California voters approved Proposition 64, which allowed for sales of recreational pot through dispensaries as well.

The goal of the council’s action early Wednesday was to have an ordinance in place before Jan.1, when the recreational use of marijuana will become legal in the state.

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