West Hollywood law allows a maximum of four medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in the city. The Council was open to the idea of having more than four retail marijuana businesses in the city, but its members no idea what the maximum should be. D’Amico suggested that the marketplace would quickly determine the proper number. The city already has a list of people interested in opening retail marijuana shops, but Duran suggested that rather than use a lottery system to determine who gets to operate in WeHo, the city should carefully screen potential operators to be sure they get the best business operators. As for locations of the retail businesses, the Council agreed they only should be on major commercial corridors, which is also a requirement for medical marijuana dispensaries (the city’s four existing medical dispensaries all happen to be along Santa Monica Boulevard). City regulations require those dispensaries to be at least 1,000 feet apart from each other and none of them can be within 500 feet of a church/temple, school, day-care center or playground. However, the state regulations regarding locations would extend the distance from schools, playgrounds and parks to 600 feet. Although the city can collect sales tax on retail marijuana sales, any special tax on marijuana would require voter approval. The earliest the city could hold such a referendum would be in 2019. Meister pointed out that the city will need a way to assure that it is getting all of the taxes it is due because marijuana dispensaries are cash-only businesses because of concerns that the federal government could seize money and assets deposited with banks.