Existing Pot Pharmacy Applies for Permit
BY BILL KOENEKER
The Malibu Planning Commission is being asked at its meeting next week to approve a permit for a medical marijuana dispensary.
Last summer, the city council adopted an ordinance to allow the pot pharmacies as a conditionally permitted use in all commercial zones.
Previous to that, the municipality had enacted a moratorium, after it discovered there were two facilities in the city, but Malibu had no zoning regulations to deal with the stores.
The owners of PCH Collective are seeking a Conditional Use Permit to permit the operations of the pot pharmacy, which has been doing business in Malibu for several years.
PCH Collective has been operating within the vicinity of its existing location for over two years.
Planners say no complaints from the public have been reported or observed by the city code enforcement at the current or previous location.
The issue caused some debate when both the planning commission and the city council previously heard whether to establish a law allowing such facilities and how many in the city could be allowed. No more than three in the city would be allowed, council members decided, and the procedure would include getting a CUP from the city.
When the issue was heard by planning panelists and the council, many clients and medical marijuana advocates came to council chambers to sing the praises of the drug and also of PCH Collective with some patients begging city officials to not prohibit pot pharmacies in Malibu.
Planners indicate PCH Collective has met all the requirements and conditions imposed by municipal officials.
“According to PCH Collective’s patient records, over 1000 patients are within the 90265 zip code. The proposed use is most similar to that of a medical office and, as conditioned, is a neighborhood-serving enterprise consistent with the goals, objectives and policies of the General Plan,” wrote Associate Planner Ha Ly, in a staff report to commissioners.
All patients are required to show an original, licensed, physician-issued recommendation or Los Angeles Department of Public Health issued medical marijuana identification card before access is granted to the dispensary. No consumption of marijuana, alcohol or tobacco is allowed on site. No onsite consumption of food is permitted with the exception of staff employees eating lunch.
In the memo to commissioners, the planner explained the dispensary has 16 security cameras and a full-time onsite security guard.
The applicant does not store more than $200 in cash reserves overnight on the premises, which is a condition of approval by the city. That no minors are allowed on the premises and no sales to minors can be made are some of the conditions imposed upon the business, according to municipal documents.