COSTA MESA — In their latest attempt to navigate through conflicting federal, state and local laws, city officials are proposing a change to the ban of marijuana dispensaries.
In a 4-1 vote, the Planning Commission recommended amending the city's marijuana ordinance so that it would not use federal marijuana laws to support a citywide ban on marijuana collectives. Instead, it will focus on the amount of people involved in operating a dispensary and use that amount to prohibit the collectives.
"We're in uncharted territory right now," said Planning Commission Chairman Jim Righeimer, a City Council candidate.
The City Council would need to approve the planners' recommendation for any changes to take effect.
The legal language would better reflect police enforcement over the last year but would not change it.
Earlier this year, Costa Mesa police cracked down on several, but not all, marijuana dispensaries in the city. While they're all technically illegal, police said they shut down the ones who grossly violated state laws on how to operate.