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La Mesa, Encinitas saying no to pot dispensaries

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La Mesa and Encinitas look poised to not join other cities, like San Diego, in creating a pathway for medical marijuana dispensaries to legally operate within their city limits, as vote tallies from Tuesday's election indicated propositions J and F were failing by significant margins.

Both of the cities' proposed medical marijuana initiatives — which mirrored each other in language to repeal the cities' bans on medical marijuana dispensaries and create a path toward legal permitting — were falling well short of the required 50 percent needed for their approvals.

In La Mesa, opponents of Proposition J continued holding as of 10:45 p.m. the 9-percentage point edge in the vote they saw earlier with the announcement of mail-in ballot returns. With 40 percent of precincts reported, 54.49 percent of La Mesa voters were against the measure. Up north in Encinitas, with 39.6 percent of precincts reported, Proposition F was shown failing by a tally of 56 percent to 44 percent.

In addition to repealing the existing ban on dispensaries, the initiatives call for setting rules for dispensaries to be permitted in the cities — rules that would, in part, prohibit them from locating within 1,000 feet of another dispensary and within a 600-foot radius of schools or playgrounds. The measures would also require the cities to issue an operating permit and business registration to any dispensary applicant that demonstrates compliance with location requirements, present a plan for compliance with certain operational requirements and that has no directors which have been convicted of a serious felony in the seven years prior.

The initiatives follow a lengthy process by which the San Diego City Council moved forward with creating medical marijuana dispensary permitting rules earlier this year.

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