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El Monte to allow some medical marijuana businesses — find out which

El Monte will allow most non-retail medical marijuana businesses, the majority of the City Council decided Wednesday, with two opponents absent.

The vote — passed 3-0 without Councilman J. Gomez and Councilwoman Norma Macias — served as the final thumbs up for a marijuana ordinance which bans all recreational marijuana businesses in the city but allows businesses that cultivate, manufacture and research medical marijuana. No recreational marijuana businesses will be permitted.

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Gomez and Macias previously voted against approving the ordinance.

The approved businesses would only be able to operate in specific areas. Research labs would be allowed in the Flair Park area of the city. Manufacturers and distributors would be allowed in the city’s northwest industrial area and in the East Valley Entryway area.

The City Council opted to delay its vote in October after about 30 residents, primarily parents of school-aged children and school administrators, criticized the ordinance in comments addressed to the council. However, at Wednesday’s meeting, rescheduled because of Tuesday’s elections, critics were outnumbered by supporters of the medical marijuana industry.

Newly re-elected El Monte Union High School District board member Ricardo Padilla asked the council members to vote on behalf of the children of El Monte, which in his mind, meant a no vote.

“You should be listening to what parents say and want, which is for El Monte to have nothing to do with marijuana,” Padilla said. “People with a medical condition can go to another city to get their marijuana.”

Before the vote, Mayor Andre Quintero said he understood parents’ concerns about marijuana but reassured them that the city was only allowing some medical marijuana businesses, of which dispensaries are not one.

“Medical cannabis has been legal in California since 1996, so we’re not breaking new ground,” Quintero said. “Because of changes in state law, things are changing, and we’re seizing on this opportunity.”

Councilwoman Victoria Martinez added that El Monte residents can rest easy. “The conversation about retail and concerns about bringing drugs and drug dealers into the community, that’s what would be perceived around dispensaries,” Martinez said.

“We’re cognizant of public safety, and this ordinance has more rules and regulations to protect our community,” she said.

Source: http://www.sgvtribune.com/2017/11/09/el-monte-to-allow-some-medical-marijuana-businesses-fine-out-which/

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