Medical Marijuana Collectives Face New Rules in Palm Springs
The city of Palm Springs says yes to new rules that impact medical marijuana collectives that are not licensed by the city.
Now the city can put signs in front of medical marijuana collectives that don't have a license, and they beefed up their fines.
Some people say these new rule hurts the patients, while other say it actually protects them.
Organic Solutions of the Desert is one of only three medical marijuana collectives licensed by the city of Palm Springs.
"If the unlicensed shops are to be open I believe they should be made to meet the same requirements as the licensed facilities, I think the playing field should be even for all shops," said Jim Camper, President of Organic Solutions of the Desert.
Camper says to be permitted, they had to spend a lot of money and meet all city and police requirements.
"For one, take a seven year old building and bring it up to code, sprinkler systems, elaborate security. Police are here constantly checking to make sure we're doing what we're supposed to be doing," said Camper.
But people with other, unlicensed collectives say the fines could close their doors... hurting the patients.
"I'm a progressive MS patient that can not have prescription medication, this is my only means of being able to live, I am wheelchair bound without this, I do not want to go back to that," said Jennifer Lugo with Safe Access Palm Springs.
There are many other collectives in the city.
Some of them are hoping to get a fourth license from the city.
"So I urge you guys to please relook at this ordinance and getting them the permit that they need before you go ahead with it," said Bryan, a Safe Access employee.
But some council members say these rules are needed for people's safety.
"The public is under the perception that store front cooperatives or dispensaries are those that are licensed by the city, when in fact the vast majority of them are not, I think represents a risk to the patient," said Councilman Paul Lewin.
The council unanimously approved the stiffer fines for violations and signage enforcement.
This ordinance requires collectives to post that they are permitted.
While also allowing the city to post signs on the property if a collective is not permitted. and removing that sign would be a crime.