11:50 PM PST on Saturday, February 26, 2011

By ERIN WALDNER
The Press-Enterprise

Medical marijuana collectives and cooperatives will be prohibited in Beaumont if a proposed ordinance is adopted by the City Council.

The ordinance, which is on the agenda for Tuesday’s Beaumont City Council meeting, also would allow the city to regulate the establishment of collectives and cooperatives if the courts determine it is unconstitutional to ban them.

A staff report states: “The Ordinance is, essentially, two parts: the first part is a total ban on dispensaries and the second part is a set of regulations that would automatically take effect if the ban is struck down by a Court.”

Medical marijuana dispensaries, typically for-profit operations, already are prohibited in Beaumont; the City Council adopted a ban in April 2009. The council subsequently enacted a temporary moratorium on not-for-profit co-ops and cooperatives. The moratorium will expire May 19, which is why the council is considering a permanent ban.

If the courts eventually decide cities cannot ban medical marijuana establishments, the ordinance also outlines out how the city would regulate them. No more than two would be allowed to operate at any time.

Two kinds of permits would be required. One would be a conditional-use permit, which would limit where they could be located and would allow for municipal supervision. The other would be an operator’s permit that would require the facilities to do such things as test their marijuana for contaminants and provide the police chief access to their records.

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