City council set to act Tuesday on recreational marijuana

Marijuana joint at sunset
Photo by www.marketeeringgroup.com (CC BY 2.0)

Maricopa city council is set to take “emergency” action on recreational marijuana on Tuesday night.

The council will consider a resolution that prohibits marijuana on public property, prohibits marijuana establishments and marijuana testing facilities, establishes regulations for personal use at an individual’s primary residence, establishes violations and provides for enforcement and penalties. It would amend the city code with a new chapter defining restrictions, prohibitions, limitations, enforcement and penalties for various uses of marijuana within the city.

An accompanying ordinance would establish a law adopting all the provisions of the resolution and amending city code.

With both the resolution and ordinance carrying emergency declarations, the ordinance would go into effect immediately upon passage by the council rather than after a 30-day waiting period.

City attorney Denis Fitzgibbons said the city’s position was to only allow dual licenses in the city, meaning a potential dispensary would need both medical and recreational licenses.

A dispensary also would be required to use both licenses in the city to prevent a company holding a dual license from operating a medical dispensary out of the city and a stand-alone or satellite recreational dispensary in Maricopa.

Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 39700 Civic Center Plaza. The meeting is open to citizens, who have the opportunity to address the council on issues of interest.

In the November election, Arizona voters approved Proposition 207 to legalize recreational marijuana. It allows for the use and possession of a small amount of marijuana by residents over the age of 21 and permits regulated possession of a limited number of marijuana plants.

It levies a 16% excise tax on the sale of marijuana.

About 57% of Pinal County voters approved the proposition. It carried all precincts in the city of Maricopa.

Dispensaries will be able to legally sell recreational marijuana after licenses are granted by the Arizona Department of Health Services, which is expected in March.

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