Upland seal

By Liset Marquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 03/22/15, 8:45 PM PDT |

UPLAND >> Councilman Gino Filippi wants to know why a report about medical marijuana dispensaries failed to consider options to regulate them or present a recommendation more favorable toward the city.

A medical marijuana initiative, which would amend the city’s current ban on dispensaries as well as mobile dispensaries and allow three in the northwest part of town, raised legal questions for Upland.

The City Council subsequently voted earlier this month to place the controversial medical marijuana dispensary ballot measure in a general election in 2016 rather than hold a special election.

But in a report to the council, which was requested nearly a month before, the only option for the city was to draft an ordinance that would affirm the existing ban.

“In the spirit of transparency, ethics and fiscal responsibility, I’d like some clarification at the next meeting on how we arrive from minutes that were very vague to direction to staff and the law firm to be producing ordinances,” asked Filippi, who was opposed to the council’s decision.

Filippi had requested the report for today’s meeting, but the item was not placed on the agenda.

Mayor Ray Musser said he did not have an issue with the report’s recommendations.

“We were presented with what was requested,” he said Friday afternoon.

Musser said the council’s decision to place the medical marijuana initiative on the general election ballot in 2016 gives the city time to consider all its options.

Ultimately, the council did not vote on the proposed city ordinance. Interim City Attorney Richard Adams told the council the alternative initiative would have affirmed the current ban in the city.

“We prepared that as an alternative because it was our understanding that’s the alternative that the city requested,” he said.

Filippi has also questioned whether the city failed to work with proponents of the measure prior to the notice of intent being brought to the city. Filippi said the city missed a chance to draft an ordinance that could have helped it recoup costs for enforcement and education.

The city has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting medical marijuana dispensaries, which are prohibited by its zoning code.

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