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Moraga latest to put moratorium on pot clubs

By Jonathan Morales
Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 at 2:23 pm in Moraga.

A vote in Moraga last week means would-be medical marijuana dispensary operators have struck out thrice in Lamorinda, and if you also include Walnut Creek, they’re 0-4, which is called a golden sombrero and may be my most favorite baseball term ever.

The council voted to place a 45-day emergency moratorium on pot clubs opening within town limits. The ban can be extended up to two years.

For the record, Town Manager Mike Segrest said someone had merely approached the town about opening up a dispensary, a land use for which the which the town does not have any regulations.  It’s the type of situation these moratoriums, called “urgency ordinances,” are for. If a city feels they don’t have sufficient rules or regulations governing a particular use (in this case, a pot club), the urgency ordinance (which requires a four-fifths council vote) allows them to study the appropriateness of that use and come up with ordinances, while in the meantime preventing that use from coming into existence. Those ordinances can ban the use, or allow them while still regulating them.

Both Lafayette and Orinda have extended their bans to one year. Pinole and Martinez are the only cities in the county that allow pot clubs. Several cities do not have ordinances relating to pot clubs.

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