The Hesperia Planning Commission is scheduled to take a last whack at a proposed code amendment that would allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the city on Thursday night.


The commission has repeatedly discussed the amendment since it was first put forth by the West Coast Patients Group in January.


"I would not want to see Hesperia being the High Desert station for marijuana," commissioner Bill Muller said Wednesday. "We have other cities up here that may (approve) the ordinance in their city."


Medical marijuana dispensaries and collectives are no strangers to Hesperia: There are seven dispensaries operating within the city limits, according to WeedMaps.com. However, those are all operating without business licenses and are subject to fines as high as $500 a day as a result.


The proposed code amendment incorporates the state's 2008 guidelines on dispensaries and collectives, including dictating that dispensaries cannot be on main thoroughfares and mandating a minimum distance from sites like parks and schools.


But the situation has changed since the code amendment was originally introduced. First, in July, a medical marijuana dispensary on Main Street was robbed at gunpoint.


"I think that the robbery was a real bell-ringer for the community at large," Muller said. "I think that really opened up some eyes to what was happening."


Then, on Aug. 31, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1300, officially giving cities the power to ban marijuana dispensaries and collectives.


"I think the way to honor (the) legitimate needs is that the state needs to regulate" medical marijuana, Muller said. "That should actually have to go through a licensed pharmacy. I think that's the only way you could prevent what you had with the robbery."


No matter what happens on Thursday, the issue is not over in Hesperia.


"Whatever our decision might be, it's up to the City Council to make the final one," Muller said.


If the planning commission is done with the issue after Thursday's meeting, the amendment could be placed before the Council in October or November.


The proposed code amendment allowing medical marijuana dispensaries within Hesperia city limits is up for a vote by the Hesperia Planning Commission at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 9700 Seventh Ave.


Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com.