San Diego’s New Dispensary Regulations Drastically Reduce Access to Medical Marijuana in the County

Press Release June 23, 2010
Media Contact

Margaret Dooley-Sammuli at 213-291-4190 or Tommy McDonald at

This week, the San Diego Board of Supervisors voted to severely restrict where medical marijuana dispensaries can operate in San Diego County. The new regulations reduce the number of dispensaries to 16 locations spread across unincorporated parts of the county. Medical marijuana patient advocates decried the new restrictions, calling them a de facto ban.

Drug Policy Alliance’s deputy state director, Margaret Dooley-Sammuli said “After years of dragging their feet since the passage of Proposition 215, this is just the latest in a series of actions by the Board of Supervisors to resist good-faith implementation of California’s voter-approved medical marijuana law. The plan the Supervisors have developed is unworkable and a slap in the face to the thousands of sick medical marijuana patients in the county. While dispensaries are not banned outright, the zoning and licensing requirements are far from amenable. The locations chosen by the Supervisors are unrealistic for any business, with many of the proposed locations on either undeveloped land or cement factories.

“The restrictions make it clear that San Diego is hostile to patients. By severely limiting locations for medical marijuana dispensaries, the Board of Supervisors is in effect driving sick people back to the unregulated street market in order to obtain the medication that works best for them.

“After suing the state over medical marijuana and losing, this is just another misguided attempt by San Diego County to thwart the will of California voters.”

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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