LB Vice Mayor Lowenthal to create group to study other cities’ marijuana ordinances

Vice Mayor and Second District Councilmember Suja Lowenthal recently announced that she intends to create a working group made up of resident and business groups, medical marijuana dispensary representatives, the Long Beach city attorney and city prosecutor, city staff and others to research and evaluate ordinances in other jurisdictions and make recommendations following a review and eventual ruling by the California Supreme Court.
In mid-January, the California Supreme Court announced that it would grant Long Beach’s petition for review in the Pack v. City of Long Beach case. In that case, an appeals court struck down parts of Long Beach’s ordinance, which was created to select, permit and regulate medical marijuana collectives. The legal review is likely to take between 12 and 18 months.
Lowenthal organized Council and department staff meetings around the issue of regulating medical marijuana and was a co-sponsor on the substitute motion originally put forward in September 2009 that ultimately led to Ordinance 5.87.
“I think this council still supports the concept of providing patients in need with access to medical marijuana,” said Lowenthal. “Regardless of what comes out of the State Supreme Court next year, I want to have the right people at the table and the ability to reach consensus on recommendations going forward.”
Lowenthal expects to form the working group over the next month and will ask it to meet on a quarterly basis leading up to the Supreme Court ruling.

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