NO MORATORIUM: Eureka marijuana dispensary ordinance moves forward
The Eureka City Council declined to pass a proposed moratorium on its fledgling medical marijuana dispensary ordinance despite a threatening letter from the Department of Justice.
Councilwoman Melinda Ciarabellini couldn’t get a second on a motion to pass the 45-day moratorium, which she said would allow time for amendments to the ordinance to “reduce [the city’s] exposure to the federal government.”
Councilwoman Linda Atkins said “the horse is already out of the barn” as far the feds knowing about the ordinance, and said an emergency moratorium wasn’t necessary to make amendments. Atkins then made a motion to ask the Planning Commission to establish a maximum cultivation size between 5,000 – 10,000 feet of growing space per dispensary to avoid the undefined “industrial” designation in the DOJ letter. The motion also asks the Planning Commission to explore a ballot measure for a voter-approved tax to cover cost of enforcing the ordinance.
With Councilman Lance Madsen absent, Mayor Frank Jager broke a tie vote by voting with Councilman Mike Newman and Atkins to pass the motion.
Several members of the public spoke against the moratorium. No one spoke in support of it.