ARMA Newsletter – December 4, 2014

Regional Medical Cannabis News


Two More MMCC Applicants Approved by Hearing Officer

Two cooperatives seeking conditional use permits in the city of San Diego met with the Hearing Officer Wednesday morning, December 3rd. Both applicants went into the meeting with staff recommendations for approval.

Zen SD located in Kearny Mesa (District 6) had comments both in favor and in opposition to the project. Robert Dean from Vista Hill treatment center raised concerns over the proposed site’s proximity to the center where Dean said many children and adolescents are seen daily. When questioned about the possible conflict, Development Services Department staff noted that the center’s primary use was not considered to be a minor-oriented facility as defined by Chapter 11 in the city’s medical marijuana consumer cooperative ordinance. After clarifying all issues raised by opponents to the project, Hearing Office Ken Teasley followed the staff recommendation and approved the project.

The MMCC project located at 3452 Hancock Street in the Midway area was heard next. This project also had comments in support, but garnered much opposition and controversy in the highly contested District 2 where there are nearly 20 applicants vying for a chance to be granted one of four conditional use permits. Some of the issues raised with this project included questions about CEQA appeals, the city’s policy of “first come, first served” applications going through the process, and how/if the city will verify that the cooperatives will really operate as nonprofit entities as the law specifies. Again, DSD staff addressed each concern and ultimately Teasley agreed with the staff recommendation and approved the permit.

ARMA expects both applications to be appealed; the appeals will likely be heard by the Planning Commission sometime early next year.


Date Set for First MMCC Appeal to Planning Commission

A Green Alternative, the first MMCC applicant to be approved by the Hearing Officer, will plead their case to the San Diego Planning Commission on December 18. Their conditional use permit was appealed, despite having minimal opposition when it was heard by Hearing Officer Ken Teasley in mid-October. The Planning Commission has the final say in the complicated permitting process which governs the licensing of cooperatives in the city of San Diego. If approved, the cooperative will be located on Roll Drive in Otay Mesa and could open as soon as January 2015.

City Attorney’s Office “Not After Shutting Down Marijuana” 

After a recent raid on an unpermitted dispensary in Mt. Hope uncovered not only cannabis, but also cocaine and guns, San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said, “Our office is focused only on zoning violations. That’s it. We’re not after shutting down marijuana, as far as medical marijuana is concerned.”

Read more here:

New Strategy Mars Pot Shop Approvals

Is Vista Tougher on Med Pot Than San Diego?



Local Band Cathouse Thursday to Provide Musical Entertainment at Awards Gala
ARMA is excited to announce that Cathouse Thursday will be providing live music at tomorrow night’s Responsible Access Awards Gala! Cathouse Thursday has been a San Diego staple for years, playing at venues throughout San Diego and Southern California. They have released three albums.

Upcoming Events


Responsible Access Awards Gala
The 1st Annual Responsible Access Awards Gala happens tomorrow night! Tickets are going fast, but there is still time to purchase your pre-sale ticket. The ticket price goes up at the door, so don’t delay.
Celebrate a historic first year and learn what the trade association has in store for 2015. This will be an exciting evening complete with a keynote address from San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, a delicious Spanish-themed dinner, drinks, an awards ceremony recognizing the achievements of various individuals and organizations in the industry, raffles, and live music from Cathouse Thursday. You don’t want to miss this important event!

The Gala will be held tomorrow night, Friday, December 5th, from 6:00-11:30PM at Tango del Rey in Mission Bay (3567 Del Rey St, San Diego, CA 92109). Tickets are $75 per person for ARMA members, $100 per person for prospective members, and $125 at the door.  Tickets can be purchased online before the event at Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information about the event and sponsorship, please contact ARMA by phone at 619-275-5124 or via email at

Planning Commission Appeals: Roundtable Discussion with Marcela Escobar-Eck
Some City of San Diego MMCC projects have been heard by the Hearing Officer, and many more are preparing to do so in the next few months. We expect that almost every Hearing Officer decision will be appealed, and that each applicant will then have to plead their case to the Planning Commission for a final decision. How can applicants best prepare for their meeting with the Planning Commission?

Former head of San Diego’s Development Services Department Marcela Escobar-Eck will answer this question and more during a two-hour roundtable discussion and Q&A regarding the next step in the city’s complicated MMCC permitting process. Bring your questions to the table and join ARMA on Friday, December 12th from 3:00-5:00PM at Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant located at 9353 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92123. ARMA members participate for free; prospective members can participate for $99 per person. To RSVP, please email

California Legislative Update


Sign the Petition for Organ Transplant Patients

From Don Duncan, CA Director of Americans for Safe Access: Voters in California legalized medical cannabis when they approved the Compassionate Use Act eighteen years ago. We have come a long way since then, but we still have important work to do here in California. Legal patients face pervasive discrimination in employment, housing, parental rights, and access to health care. ASA and other advocates are working hard to change this, and we need your help to do it.

One of the most tragic examples of discrimination is when patients are denied a life-saving organ transplant because they use medical cannabis. Legal patients must often choose between getting the transplant they need or the relief they have come to expect from medical cannabis. Sometimes patients suffer needlessly to get on the national organ transplant list or stay on it. In other cases, they simply cannot get a needed transplant. At least one ASA member died after he was dropped from the list.

There is no law in California that prevents legal medical cannabis patients from being denied an organ transplant. We can change that next year, if you help. Can you take a couple of minutes right now to sign our petition supporting a proposed bill to prevent discrimination against legal medical cannabis patients in California? ASA will be taking the petition to lawmakers soon. State Assembly Members and Senators need to know that voters statewide support this bill when they are deciding on the 2015 legislative agenda in the next few weeks.


More MMJ News: Elsewhere Edition


Medical Marijuana and the Workplace: What Employers Need to Know Now

‘Cannamoms’ Try to Get Medical Pot for Their Kids