Despite city regulations allowing up to 36 dispensaries, San Diego has only eight after two years of legalized medical marijuana, according to an Aug. 9, 2016, article in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
City regulations allow four medical marijuana dispensaries in each of San Diego’s nine city council districts. With eight operating, six more were approved “months ago,” the Union-Tribune reported, but have yet to open. Another dispensary likely will be approved soon.
In March 2014, advocates of medical marijuana thought the city’s regulations, practically speaking, would allow about 20 dispensaries to open. Today, opened dispensaries and approved dispensaries total 14, with a 15th in the wings.
In some cases, the cost of getting a city permit was expensive enough to slow the progress of opening a dispensary, but there are many other reasons for fewer dispensaries than expected.
Jessica McElfresh, a lawyer for three of the dispensaries that have opened, said, “Every one is its own story. I think the reasons are pretty unsexy. I had hoped more dispensaries would be open by now, but this happens with these kinds of projects.”