Despite city and county moratoriums extending anywhere from 45 days to indefinite periods of time, local governments seem to be standing firm in their opposition to marijuana dispensaries. 

The City Manager’s office in the city of Claremont confirmed in 2006 that a marijuana dispensary was opened despite the denial of the city, stating they are banned from operation anywhere in city limits.  

State Appeals Court upheld a ruling stating local government can ban medical marijuana dispensaries without violating California’s medical marijuana laws. 

After receiving letters from the city manager to cease operation of the dispensary, and twice being denied for a business license, the owner did not stop his operation arguing that the city could have granted them a permit under a number of categories, including “cigar/cigarette/smoke shops” or “health, herbal, botanical stores.”

City Planner for the city of Claremont Lisa Prasse stated, “In June 2008, the Claremont City Council enacted an ordinance banning the establishment of dispensaries following two years of thoughtful discussion, investigation and community testimony regarding the topic of medical marijuana.

“While the City Council was and is sympathetic to the bona fide medical needs of Claremont’s residents, the majority of the council felt, that given the legal ambiguity associated with the topic and the conflicts between State and Federal law, an ordinance to allow the establishment of a dispensary within Claremont was inappropriate.”

PublicCEO reported in July on marijuana dispensaries and their effects on local cities and counties.

While the city of Long Beach recently denied 28 applications to open dispensaries, the Board of Supervisors in Madera County voted unanimously to ban dispensaries, including closing three in operation.

On the flip side, the BBC has claimed Oakland a leader in advocacy for full legalization of the drug. 

Juliana Rebagliati, City Planner of Santa Cruz, stated previously, “The city has not had problems with crime associated with the two dispensaries permitted in Santa Cruz.”

Police Chief Jon Cox from the city of Dixon stated, “The majority of dispensaries are not protected.”

With local government debating to house medical marijuana dispensaries, let alone legalization, where do you stand on this increasingly debatable issue? Comment below or e-mail Louis Dettorre at