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San Diego County Supervisors change pot permit process

The county Board of Supervisors approved changes to the county’s Cannabis Permitting Program in an effort to enhance safety, support unincorporated communities and develop a youth cannabis prevention curriculum, in an item brought forth by Supervisor Joel Anderson at the June 15 board meeting. The proposed changes do not alter policy but add additional measures to the county’s Cannabis Permitting Program Environmental Impact Report and the Socially Equitable Cannabis Program.

The cannabis permitting program dates back to January 2021 and was developed with a focus on business opportunities while simultaneously addressing historically social inequity. However, Anderson said, more must be done in the unincorporated areas to keep communities safe and improve social outcomes.

Last Wednesday’s proposition included 16 measures within three areas of exploration: design-related actions related to the environmental impact of cannabis businesses, program considerations based on community research, and items which would require cost analysis.

Several items within Anderson’s 16-point proposition would ensure cannabis businesses located in unincorporated communities answer to the same requirements as those located within the city of San Diego, such as increasing the setback of cannabis facilities near sensitive land uses like childcare centers and schools from 600 feet to 1000 feet. Billboards would also have a minimum 1000 foot setback from sensitive use locations and the list of what constitutes sensitive use spaces would expand to include locations frequently accessed by children and young adults such as public libraries and parks.

Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer, who primarily oversees coastal San Diego county, questioned why senior living facilities would be included as sensitive use areas when some of those residents might be medical marijuana users, but Anderson said that measure came directly from constituent feedback.

Nearly half the measures would require the county department of Planning and Development Services to conduct community research and return to the board within a year with options for direction.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Jessica Brodkin Webb on The Star News

Published: June 24, 2022

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