San Diego legalized recreational pot dispensaries on Tuesday and the city also opened up the possibility it will allow pot farms, manufacturing facilities and testing labs.
San Diego is the first city in San Diego County to approve recreational marijuana sales since state voters approved Proposition 64 in November, and no other cities in the county have indicated they intend to follow suit.
Sales of recreational pot will begin when statewide regulations being crafted in Sacramento are completed sometime before January 2018. Dispensaries along the coast may have to wait for Coastal Commission approval, but city officials said that's expected by October.
The San Diego City Council unanimously agreed Tuesday to allow the sale of recreational marijuana at 15 dispensaries approved by the city to sell medical marijuana, pending the state action.
Council members also agreed to consider later this year approving regulations for commercial cultivation, testing and distribution of marijuana in bud and other forms, such as edibles.
Specific regulations for those activities weren't available for the council to approve on Tuesday because city staff and the San Diego Police Department had recommended the city ban them based on concerns about crime and other potential problems.
Council members said they were partly motivated by the November election, when 62% of city voters approved Proposition 64.
"They told us what they expect us to do," said Councilman Chris Ward, noting that Proposition 64 also allows local governments to legalize cultivation, manufacturing and testing.
Garrick writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.