Napa City Council Extends Pot Clinic Ban

The city council voted in favor of Napa City Attorney Michael Barrett's recommendation to extend by another year a moratorium on approving medical marijuana operations that would dispense and/or cultivate pot.

The Napa City Council has extended its Medical Marijuana Dispensary and Cultivation Interim Urgency Moratorium Ordinance for another year.

Citing unsettled legal cases in other cities, notably the Pack case in Los Angeles, Barrett wrote in an agenda letter for yesterday's city council meeting:

On January 18, 2012, the California Supreme Court granted review of the appellate court decision in the Pack case. This means that the appellate court’s conclusions may no longer be cited as binding legal precedent. However, it also means that the parameters of municipal regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries will remain very uncertain until the Supreme Court publishes its decision. After extensive written briefing to the California Supreme Court through as recent as August 6, 2012, it appears that the written briefing period has concluded. While it is very difficult to predict when the Court will issue its 3 decision, and there are no strict deadlines, it is anticipated that the Court will schedule oral argument and issue its decision in approximately six to nine months.  It is also important to note that the California Supreme Court has granted review of three separate, but related, appellate court cases that are anticipated to be considered on a similar time frame as the Pack case. Two of the cases (involving the City of Riverside and the City of Upland) are an appeal of appellate courts that held that the cities’ ban of dispensaries is not preempted by State law. The third case (involving the City of Lake Forest) is an appeal of an appellate court that held that the city’s ban of dispensaries is preempted by State law.

The city attorney's request to extend the moratorium for another year was granted by a unanimous vote of the four council members in attendance at Tuesday's meeting; council member Jim Krider was absent.

View the meeting and agenda online at cityofnapa.org; council meetings are also streamed at napavalleytv.org.

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