At their November 18th meeting, the Mammoth Lakes Town Council approved a 45-day moratorium on the legal establishment and operation of medical marijuana dispensaries within the Town of Mammoth Lakes. The decision came after local citizens approached the Town of Mammoth for businesses licenses to start operating these dispensaries. The 45-day moratorium is meant to give the Town Council and staff time to determine whether or not dispensaries are right for Mammoth, and if so, how they should be operated.
Local business owner and extreme athlete Steve Klassen attended the meeting and spoke to Council as a medical marijuana patient.
“I have given a lot of thought about going public with the fact that I am a medical marijuana patient,” Klassen said. “But I thought it was time. It’s my right to medicate myself the way me and my doctor decide.”
Klassen showed Council his identification card from the California Department of Health Services, and explained that the reason requests to open dispensaries were just popping up now is because Mono County has been one of the last areas of California to issue these cards, just beginning to give them out in October. According to Klassen, you need a DHS card to operate a dispensary.
Klassen and other supporters of medical marijuana and the dispensaries who attended the Council meeting were also in favor of the moratorium, claiming that they wanted the dispensaries to be set up correctly.
Only one member of the public, Hans Ludwig, spoke directly against the need for the moratorium, claiming that everyone should be grown-ups and just discuss the issue in open forums at Planning Commission meetings in order to figure out whether or not the dispensaries are right for Mammoth.
“If you don’t do the moratorium you are going to have my application coming forward and potentially many others,” Klassen pointed out. “What I don’t want to see is a rush on business licenses and then an outright ban, which is why I support the moratorium.”
Klassen and others offered to donate their time to help Council do the research on dispensaries during the moratorium. Klassen also offered to operate a dispensary for people over 21. Klassen, and others supporting the dispensaries, claimed that if it were run as a non-profit they would avoid the legalities of making any money from sales.
If at the end of the 45 days the Town Council has not come to a decision they are allowed to extend the moratorium one time for up to 10 months and 15 days.