The Washington Post

Gray opposes medical marijuana facility cap

Update, 12:15 p.m.: The council passed the emergency bill Tuesday, amending it to allow as many as six cultivation centers and one dispensary in any one ward. More to come at D.C. Wire.

Original post: Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) has come out against a proposal by D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (D) and member Vincent Orange (D-At Large) to limit the number of medical marijuana facilities that can locate in any one ward — a measure intended to address “oversaturation” of cultivation centers and dispensaries in Ward 5.

Gray said in a letter that he is “committed to addressing the legitimate concerns of Ward 5 residents,” but he said the bill would “further delay implementation of this important program which is necessary to assist individuals who suffer with chronic debilitating pain.”

He also warned that the council “may be gravitating into zoning matters that could be within the purview of the Zoning Commission.” Currently, city law and regulation restricts cultivation centers to certain industrial zones that are largely within Ward 5; dispensaries are subject to similar but less onerous restrictions.

Gray also opposed a pair of council measures to disapprove current contracts for school security services that had been criticized by the Service Employees International Union, saying that the disapprovals would throw city security into a “precarious and unstable position.” The measures’ sponsor, Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), withdrew them at today’s meeting. Gray committed to having new contracts in place for the next school year.

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.


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