City OKs medical pot deliveries


RANCHO MIRAGE-- The Rancho Mirage city council approved Thursday a program that will give-- and even help pay-- its residents for access to medical marijuana while still restricting dispensaries from opening up within city limits.

The "Medical Marijuana Compassionate Access Program" bans dispensaries within city limits, but allows outside dispensaries to deliver to patients within the city of Rancho Mirage. Those dispensaries still have to apply for a Rancho Mirage business license, though free of charge.

The CAP program was passed by a 3-1 vote, with one council member not voting since he represents a group trying to establish a dispensary in the city, according to Dana Hobart with the city of Rancho Mirage.

The city will also offer travel reimbursement for patients who use dispensaries that don't offer delivery. There's a $4,000 a month budget for the program, however any one resident can only collect $25/month, towards transportation costs.

A date has not yet been set for when CAP will be enacted, as there are still some matters that need to be discussed, including a presentation to the planning commission, Hobart said.

The only Coachella Valley city that allows dispensaries to operate legally within city limits is Palm Springs.

Mayor Pro Tem Dana Hobart said in the agenda for Thursday's meeting that the new program "will serve the portion of the community that has a serious need for medical cannabis."