[ From: "Medical marijuana restrictions move forward" By Eric Lindberg, Daily Sound, Nov. 25, 2009 ]
... Another new restriction would require pot shops that are currently open but don’t meet city requirements to shutter or come into conformance within six months, along with several stricter security rules.
The ordinance committee heard from some community members who pressed for even stricter regulations — including a citywide cap of four dispensaries rather than seven.
But Councilmember Das Williams said restrictions on the storefront dispensary model that are too heavy-handed would simply cause patient collectives to spring up in residential neighborhoods.
“We cannot track or regulate those neighborhood-based collectives or delivery services,” he said, as they are permitted by state law.
City regulations on medical marijuana dispensaries came about as a result of neighborhood concerns about shops opening up in residential areas...
City officials have said one permitted dispensary is currently open, eight are in the approval process, four opened before the city established restrictions and are considered nonconforming, and three illegal shops are facing enforcement...
In addition to the citywide cap and shorter amortization period, the proposed changes include a prohibition on dispensaries in existing mixed-use buildings, more discretion for the staff hearing officer to approve or reject applications, a prohibition on dispensaries within 1,000 feet of Casa Esperanza homeless shelter, and the establishment of annual permit reviews by police officials and the staff hearing officer.
Even as city officials continue to discuss those proposals, they will also talk over a proposed moratorium on new and pending dispensary applications during a city council hearing next month.
As a result of a marathon session of the council last week, the city also appears to be moving toward a nonprofit collective model for medical marijuana dispensing, as opposed to a for-profit model.
Once the stricter regulations are adopted, the ordinance committee is expected to pursue more regulations that would mandate nonprofit collectives as the sole form of medical marijuana distribution in Santa Barbara.
Additional detail from Noozhawk and comments are at: Noozhawk: changes_to_marijuana_ordinance