Sunday, September 4, 2011

2011-09-04 "Applications for medical marijuana position under review in Vallejo‎" by Jessica A. York from "Vallejo Times-Herald"
Vallejo's plan to regulate and permit its proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries has drawn four applicants interested in taking on the job as a consultant.
The consultants' interest in overseeing the several-month project comes even as a city ballot measure authorizing taxation of medical marijuana dispensaries is set to go to public vote in November.
In the coming weeks, city officials will review the consultants' applications to see if any of the firms fit the city's needs, Deputy City Attorney Alan Cohen and city management consultant Scott Tandy said Friday.
The city is seeking to hire a consultant to assist city staff in regulating and allowing the medical marijuana businesses, which are technically illegal in Vallejo because their use is not described in the city's zoning code, according to city officials.
Finalists, if there are any, will be invited for an interview as early as this month, they said. The hired consultant will be asked to pull together proposed regulations by December, spending $35,000 or less, and soliciting public input, Cohen said.
"From my perspective, I think we probably have a good mix (of applications) to review," Tandy said, referring to the four applicants. "Four is probably better than (just) two."
Tandy said that in an ideal world, voters would have an idea of what the proposed dispensary regulations were going to be -- including a likely cap on the number of dispensaries -- before having to vote on the tax. In reality, though, the tax vote is expected to come before the regulations, Tandy said.
November's ballot Measure C would allow the city to tax up to 10 percent of gross proceeds on medical marijuana sold in Vallejo, or choose a lower percentage, if desired. The measure's approval would also establish a set business license fee to assist in administering the program.
The issue has divided the Vallejo City Council, which in recent months approved putting the measure on the ballot alongside a 1 percent general sales tax hike, in a 5-2 vote.

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