No Stoner’s Paradise in Beverly Hills

City Council votes to ban marijuana dispensaries.

Don't expect pot shops to be sprouting up in your neighborhood anytime soon.

City Council voted 5-0 in support of an interim ordinance at Thursday's meeting that prohibits the establishment of marijuana dispensaries in Beverly Hills.

"Medical marijuana dispensaries are not now permitted use in Beverly Hills," Susan Healy Keene, director of Community Development, told the council. "Nevertheless, absent an explicit prohibition in the municipal code, dispensaries may attempt to locate in the city."

Keene cited Proposition 19—The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010—as cause for Beverly Hills to adopt specific language prohibiting the distribution of marijuana within city limits. If it passes the November ballot, Prop 19 will change California law to legalize marijuana, allowing it to be regulated and taxed.

The city's interim ordinance bans marijuana dispensaries, stores, co-ops, or marijuana cultivation operations in any zoning district or overlay zoning district within Beverly Hills, regardless of state law. Keene said city staff would return to council within 45 days to request an extension of the measure, which can last up to a year.

"Staff believes that the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries in Beverly Hills has the potential to change the character of Beverly Hills," Keene said, noting the recent string of robberies and murders that have occurred at dispensaries in Los Angeles. "Our general planned policy…states that the city should encourage the existing industries in the city such as luxury retail, hotels, tourism, and entertainment and media uses. Medical marijuana dispensaries, since it is not one of the existing industries, does not encourage or support that [plan]."


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