San Diego takes a step against cannabis advertising and proposes to remove marijuana billboards near schools, parks and youth centers
San Diego is developing an offensive against cannabis advertising as part of a package of new city regulations and changes in laws. However, although the city wants to limit the places where billboards that advertise the sale of cannabis can be placed, San Diego has also proposed loosening restrictions on the location of marijuana dispensaries and production facilities, such as farms indoor cannabis and factories that produce marijuana edibles.
Among the new rules there is one that highlights: the word “marijuana” is replaced by “cannabis” in all city codes and documents. The objective of this rule is to standardize the language used by all state officials. The San Diego Planning Commission plans to study these proposals on October 24 and the City Council is expected to give its approval by the end of this year.
Councilman Chris Cate first proposed his offensive against cannabis advertising by removing marijuana billboards in the spring of 2018. Chris Cate wants to keep cannabis advertising out of reach of children. The proposal would ban billboards within a 1000-foot (350-meter) space of schools, public parks, playgrounds, nurseries or youth centers. Actually, California law prohibits advertisements on billboards less than 1000 feet from some places considered “sensitive use.” But the list of prohibited places to advertise cannabis does not include parks. Cate also wanted to include libraries, churches and residential care centers, but these places are not included in the proposal proposed by the city. Cate also wanted to ban cannabis ads within 100 feet (30 meters) of residential homes, but this measure was also excluded from the list.
The San Diego proposal does include Cate’s request that the restrictions apply to legal and illegal cannabis businesses. Illegal business? California law has been very controversial and criticized since its wording implies the fact that the city seems to continue allowing the existence of unlicensed dispensaries that are illegal. Although San Diego officials have closed almost all illegal dispensaries in the city, it is estimated that around 100 illegal delivery services remain.
Cannabis billboards are very common in San Diego since legal recreational marijuana sales began in January 2018. The problem is that this offensive against cannabis advertising in San Diego would harm many legal marijuana dispensaries that depend on Ads to attract customers.
Cannabis billboards cost a lot of money, depending on the location. The most important entrepreneurs in the local marijuana industry have said they approve the new rules, and especially the effort to differentiate between legal and illegal dispensaries. Of course, residents who are favorable to the prohibition of marijuana are also happy with the new offensive against cannabis advertising in San Diego, although some are unhappy because the city plans to use code enforcement officers instead of the police to address the issue of fines for violations of the new laws.
The nice aspect of the new regulations is that San Diego officials want to soften the rules that prohibit the location of cannabis businesses within 100 feet of homes and within 1000 feet of churches, parks, schools and facilities Young people oriented. This happens because when San Diego started allowing cannabis businesses in 2014, the distance was calculated based on a straight line from the business to the places, ignoring the topographic characteristics or the travel route. Following a more realistic criterion the city softened the rule to take into account natural topographic barriers and constructed topographic barriers, such as highways.
Currently, San Diego officials propose changing to a standard based on the most direct pedestrian path. But Scott Chipman, a Pacific Beach resident and a member of “Citizens against the legalization of marijuana,” has already expressed his outrage by saying that the change is another argument of city officials who modify the rules to adapt to the local industry of marijuana. Chipman says that “citizens against the legalization of marijuana are completely opposed to any changes in the code that further normalize this dangerous drug and the drug dealers who sell it in our community.”