Cover It Live recap: Squaw Valley council hearing on medical pot operators | SierraSun.com

Cover It Live recap: Squaw Valley council hearing on medical pot operators

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. and#8212; Squaw officials should decide this week whether or not to join their North Tahoe counterpart in not recommending a zoning amendment to Placer County’s board of supervisors to ban medical marijuana distribution countywide.

The Squaw Valley Municipal Advisory Committee meets at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Squaw Valley Service District Community Meeting Room.

Jennifer Dzakowic, a planner with Placer County, will explain the reasoning for the amendment proposed by the county planning department, with a public comment period to follow.

In past presentations, Dzakowic said the planning department and planning commission’s desire to ban medical marijuana collectives, cooperatives and dispensaries is based on a report by the California Police Chief’s Association labeling medicinal marijuana dispensaries as a catalyst for crime.

She has also said the county does not have a policy in place for medicinal marijuana business applications to be processed.

According to the planning department, of the 11 MACs asked to review the presentation so far, two have voted to recommend the amendment to the board of supervisors, while two more and#8212; the North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council and the Weimar-Applegate-Colfax MAC and#8212; recommended the board vote against the amendment. Other MACs declined to review the amendment.

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In its recommendations against the ban, NTRAC urged board members to have the planning department provide definable local crime research before a ban should be considered, while WAC recommended a moratorium on medicinal marijuana distribution so all options could be promptly invested.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on the issue at its April 6 meeting in Auburn.

Dzakowic has said the board has two options: To accept the proposal and ban medicinal marijuana businesses in Placer County; or direct the planning department and planning commission to develop zoning ordinances that would designate and control marijuana businesses.