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Pismo Beach passes temporary ban on commercial cannabis


Responding to the recent legalization of recreational marijuana statewide, on Tuesday Pismo Beach officials passed a 45-day ban on all stages of production and retail sales of cannabis. 

The city council voted 4-1 to pass an "urgency ordinance" that blocks anyone from trying to open a retail shop or grow the plant for commercial purposes. The city already prohibits brick-and-mortar medical marijuana dispensaries, but does allow deliveries. The new ban does affect current delivery services in Pismo Beach.

City Attorney Dave Fleishman said the ban will give city staff time to craft a permanent ordinance regulating or outright banning commercial marijuana businesses in Pismo Beach, adding that the city has already received inquiries from prospective business owners.

City council member Erik Howell voted against the temporary ban, saying that he didn’t see the need for it.

"The resolution, to me, just reads as hysteria," Howell said. He said he was concerned the ordinance would provoke a lawsuit against the city "based on Prop. 64," the statewide measure passed by California voters on November 8.

Fleishman said he modeled the moratorium ordinance on one established in August by the Santa Maria City Council.

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