By Jim Tortolano/Garden Grove Journal
An ordinance setting out some guidelines related to medical marijuana dispensaries was given final approval by the Garden Grove City Council Tuesday night.
The vote was 4-0 with Council member Dina Nguyen absent.
Passed was a new law that established a cutoff date – June 30, 2011 – and a registration process for businesses that sell marijuana for medical purposes. It is a preliminary step setting the stage for setting conditions, regulations and allowable locations in the city.
Only one member of the public spoke on the issue.
Steve Welch, a former resident of Garden Grove, told the council he is a wounded Vietnam War veteran who uses medical marijuana to relieve pain and fight nausea.
Voters in California approved the sale and use of medical marijuana in 2008, but some cities have opposed the operation of dispensaries in their cities.
“Not every one in this business is a criminal,” he said.
The city council gave initial approval at the Aug. 9 meeting. City officials decided to regulate such dispensaries rather than seek to ban them in order to avoid costly legal battles.
Garden Grove will become the second city in Orange County in Orange County, after Laguna Woods, to agree to host some businesses.
In other action, the city council approved demolition and asbestos removal from six structures at 12581 Harbor Blvd., and 12601 and 12602 Leda Lane to clear the way for the Great Wolf water park-hotel development planned for that area.