South El Monte Mayor says marijuana dispensary issue is done

Spoke with Mayor Louie Aguinaga about the South El Monte vote on changing its city ordinance on marijuana dispensaries to limit the amount in the city to just one. The previous ordinance allowed for two.

The council voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve the new ordinance, but a second reading and vote is still necessary. I was skeptical this was the end of the road for the ordinance since this issue has changed so often when it seemed the council was leaning in one direction.

When I asked Aguinaga what he thought, he said “It is the end of this one. It is done.”

We will see if that holds up come September. More to come on this story in tomorrow’s paper and online.

Glendora, El Monte and South El Monte council agendas

It is Tuesday, which means numerous council meetings are tonight.

Glendora: Big items include a discussion about the end of the Redevelopment Agency via its 2017-2019 sunset date and a presentation on the city’s strategic plan.

El Monte: It is another special council meeting with the only item on the agenda concerning a resolution to apply for a grant under Prop. 85 – “THE SAFE DRINKING WATER, WATER QUALITY AND SUPPLY, FLOOD CONTROL, RIVER AND COASTAL PROTECTION BOND ACT OF 2006.”

South El Monte: The big ticket item is a vote to put on the November ballot a resolution that would change the city’s municipal code to limit the number of marijuana dispensaries to one. The current code allows for two.

Marijuana dispensaries raided for turning profit, if only the rest of the economy could be so lucky

When was the last time you heard about a business getting arrested for turning a profit? Today, that’s when.

Apparently, medical marijuana sellers aren’t the small business backbone (I think a better small business metaphor is to say they are more like nerve endings or knee caps. Yeah, knee caps) of America. Dispensaries are non-profit businesses, as outlined by state law. So when a few of them allegedly starting bringing in extra proceeds, the police decided it was time for a raid.

If that is the case, enough said. They broke the law and that’s that, right? The owners and partners with the dispensaries deny police claims, but that will play out in court.

But this begs the larger question, with something as potentially profitable as marijuana and the ongoing issues with dispensaries – including the popularity of opening them – to avoid these problems, why not just have this administered by the state or hospitals to avoid issues of free market business meddling with the law? Is this a viable option? Maybe I’m crazy, and if I am, I’ll be happy to hear why.

In other news, no arrests have been made against the charitable “non-profit” organizations that offer 400,000 plus salaries for its executives.

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Duarte mayor uses Azusa Rock Quarry comparison to argue against marijuana dispensary

I am asking for trouble writing about this, so here is a warning:

This post is Vulcan related.

I covered the medical marijuana dispensary public hearing last night in Duarte where the Regional Planning Commission rejected a plan for one in an unincorporated county area in Arcadia, which is near El Monte, Baldwin Park, Duarte and Monrovia.

The first speaker was Margaret Finlay, mayor of Duarte, who compared the issue of the dispensary to that of her city’s battle against Vulcan Materials Co.’s Azusa Rock Quarry mining plan.

“People that are for this are those who are doing to make money off of it,” Finlay said of the mining plan. “I think this (dispensary plan) is a similar situation.”

Leon San Blas, the applicant for the dispensary, said he was opening the business not to make money, but out of the goodness of his heart. San Blas, wheel chair bound himself, uses medical marijuana to relief pain.

I don’t think too many people bought the “it’s marijuana to help the community” business plan.

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Late homework: An afternoon version of the weekend in review

Mark me down a letter grade for bringing you the weekend’s news this afternoon.

Economists have a tempered reaction to Jerry Brown’s plan to create 500,000 new jobs.

Azusa approved a farmer’s market that will operate as a filler at its ailing Block 36 parking lot.

There is a fight brewing in Rowland Heights. Residents advocating for the city to strictly adhere to its general plan are gearing up to battle a new high-density apartment complex.

As for tonight, there is a public hearing in Duarte to discuss a possible marijuana dispensary.

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Holiday weekend edition of weekend recap

Did you enjoy those three long days off? So did I. Although, the catch-22 is that it always makes that first day back that much more difficult.

Anyway, if you are struggling to get into that work mode, here are a few stories from the weekend to pass the time (oh, and make you a better, informed citizen of the republic and all that).

Reporter Thomas Himes did a long researched piece on city attorney fees that showed cities with their own police departments often pay more in legal fees, according to city documents and records for the last fiscal year.

Covina’s police chief made his position known on the a proposition to legalize marijuana. (SPOILER: He is not a fan)

Well, despite a huge push this year for the Census – including hundreds of millions of dollars spent – it looks like national participation is down. The good news? San Gabriel Valley participation is better than the national average. The bad news? It also dipped below 2000 Census totals.

Finally, as a recent post alluded too, Glendora goes for the trifecta in asking the Supreme Court to hear its case after the county won two court cases regarding a redevelopment area designation.

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Appropriately, decision on marijuana dispensaries involves procrastination

For all the huffing and puffing going on in La Puente regarding marijuana dispensaries, it is taking the city some time to decide if they are going to outlaw the businesses.

Debate sparked late last year when 10 stores opened before a cap was placed on marijuana dispensaries in the city.

Now four months since city officials said they wanted to ban the businesses, they have decided to wait until July before further discussion after business owners threatened litigation.

Now city officials are trying to decide if they are willing to take a hit from lawsuits if they decide to oust the dispensaries, or if they are going to pass and allow them in the city.

LA PUENTE – Nearly four months after saying they wanted to ban medical marijuana dispensaries here, the City Council decided late Tuesday to postpone a vote to push the shops out and consider its legal implications.

The council will meet behind closed doors to discuss potential lawsuits from dispensary owners on July 13 and publicly deliberate again on the ban on July 27.

“We need to know what it’ll cost us before we go down this road,” said Councilman John Solis, who proposed the delay.

Although the threat of lawsuits loomed for weeks, the council decided at the last minute to seek more time. Several owners of the city’s 10 dispensaries have threatened that any action to push them out of the city would face a stiff legal opposition.

The council’s move was approved 3-2.

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