The administrator of Marin County has decided not the approve applications to license medical cannabis dispensaries in the Bay Area county.

Matthew Hymel stated he instead is recommending changing the procedures for licensing any dispensaries in the unincorporated area of Marin County.

He will specifically recommend the Board of Supervisors revise ordinances to “disconnect the selection of an operation from that of the (dispensary) location.” Hymel also wanted to explore “delivery only” models of dispensaries “to address concerns raised by residents at public meetings and via submission of written comments.”

The Community Development Agency received 10 applications in designated locations where a medical cannabis dispensary could be permitted, and residents voiced opinions at three public meetings hosted this winter by CDA staff and members of the advisory committee.

The county announcement stated that of the 10 applications, eight were in the Highway 101 corridor zone and two were in the Central/West Marin zone. The 101 corridor applications included three in the Black Point area east of the Novato city limits, one in Santa Venetia near the San Rafael city limits, and four in the Tam Shoreline area between Mill Valley and Sausalito. The Central/West Marin applications included one in San Geronimo Valley and one in Marshall.

Although cannabis is considered an illegal drug by the federal government, Proposition 215, passed in 1996, ensures that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use cannabis for medical purposes upon receiving a recommendation from a physician.

Medical cannabis dispensaries remain prohibited in unincorporated Marin, and none are open or permitted in any of the county’s towns or cities, according to the county. The ordinance establishes a regulatory framework to license nonprofit patient collectives to meet the medical needs of local patients, “many of whom have voiced the need for local dispensaries before the Board of Supervisors.”