San Diego, California is considering cannabis-industry reforms, including limits on billboard advertising, loosening limits on where cannabis operations can open, and changing the word “marijuana” to “cannabis” in all city codes and documents, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Under the new rules, billboards advertising cannabis would have to be 1,000 feet away from schools, playgrounds, public parks, daycare centers, and youth centers. The state law already prohibits cannabis advertising within 1,000 feet of “sensitive uses” but does not include parks. Councilman Chris Cate, who proposed the ban, had included churches, libraries, and residential care facilities, along with barring them within 100 feet of residential housing in the proposal, but those locations were not included in the adopted rules.
The goal of changing “marijuana” to “cannabis” in the city code is an effort to align the language used in the 2016 ballot initiative and the language used by the state with city regulations.
The city’s plan to soften its 1,000-foot zone between cannabusinesses and sensitive areas heralds back to when the city began allowing medical sales in 2014 and the distance was based on a straight line from the businesses to the sensitive use building without taking into account barriers such as canyons, and constructed barriers like freeways. Officials are planning to use the most direct and legal pedestrian path of travel between property line.
Cannabis industry attorney Gina Austin suggested to the Union-Tribune that business owners “may get a few extra feet” out of the changes.
The San Diego Planning Commission is set to consider the changes on October 24. If approved by the commission and city council, they could be implemented by year’s end.
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