Citing fears about infringing upon local government control, Governor Brown has vetoed SB 847, which would have barred medical marijuana dispensaries from setting up shop within 600 feet of homes. The legislation was introduced by Senator Lou Correa (Santa Ana), but the governor ended up rejecting it because he noted that cities and counties should have power to determine regulations that impact pot shots. The veto message states, “This bill goes in the opposite direction by preempting local control and prescribing the precise locations where dispensaries may not be located. Decisions of this kind are best made in cities and counties, not the state Capitol.” Medical marijuana advocates are undoubtedly pleased by the governor’s decision and local government officials may be pleased that Brown affirmed local control (at least on this matter).
The governor also pointed to the recently-signed AB 1300 as another reason SB 847 was unnecessary because the assembly bill gives cities and counties clear authority to restrict the location and operation of such dispensaries as well as file civil or criminal claims against violators.
Correa expressed frustration with the outcome, and the senator commented “I’m disappointed for the community. All we were talking about is taking a buffer zone already in the law to keep second-hand pot smoke away from children at schools and extending it to keeping it away from residences." Correa also argues that he worked with marijuana advocates to reach a compromise on the language of the zoning requirements in the bill.