On Tuesday, 1/26/16, the Cloverdale City Council unanimously passed an updated, comprehensive Medical Marijuana Cultivation ordinance. Chief Cramer initiated this project in early November. With the adoption of the new Medical Marijuana Regulation & Safety Act (MMRSA) in October of 2015, local jurisdictions were required to have a cultivation ordinance in place prior to March 1, 2016 or the State of California would assume control of all cultivations within the city limits. The ordinance moved cultivation into the zoning section of the Municipal Code (Title 18). The new state law allows for all levels of personal and commercial cultivations with certain licensing. We now maintain local control of what is allowed. The ordinance goes into effect on 2/25/16 and provides as follows:
- Commercial cultivations and dispensaries are banned.
- Qualified patients and/or primary caregivers who choose not to follow the state licensing or local permit processes may grow up to three (3) marijuana plants outdoors (or in a garden canopy). These small cultivations are allowed only in residential zones (single family dwellings). This is a per parcel limitation (multiple people may not grow on the same parcel).
- Those qualified patients and/or primary caregivers who choose to grow up to thirty (30) plants or possess up to three (3) pounds of processed marijuana must obtain a state license and a local permit to cultivate marijuana. These larger cultivations are also only allowed in residential zones (single family dwellings). These larger cultivations are required to be indoors (with an extensive “structure” definition). If a cultivator chooses to grow marijuana inside his/her residence, that activity must be a secondary (ancillary) use of the residence.
- The qualified patient or primary caregiver must live on the premises
- Tenants must provide written permission from landlord to cultivate marijuana
- No cultivations are allowed within 600 feet of a school
- No marijuana visible from the public right-of-way
- The definition of “structure” has changed as follows: “Structure” shall mean a building completely enclosed and detached from a
residence that complies with the California Building Code, as adopted
by the City, and has a complete roof enclosure supported by connecting
walls extending from the ground to the roof, a foundation, slab or
equivalent base to which the floor is secured by bolts or similar
attachments, is secure against unauthorized entry, and is accessible
only through one or more lockable doors. Walls and roof must be
constructed of solid materials that cannot be easily broken through.
Exterior walls must be constructed with non-transparent material.
Plastic sheeting, regardless of gauge, or similar products do not
satisfy this requirement.
Detached structures must not exceed 100 square feet & shall comply
with all California building, fire, & electrical codes. No gas
products (including without limitation, CO2, butane, propane and natural
gas) or generators shall be used within the structure. Structure shall
maintain a minimum of a ten (10) foot setback from any property line.
Structure shall not utilize grow lights that exceed 1200 Watts.
Structure shall be locked whenever the person responsible for
cultivating is not present.
- Delivery of marijuana services are allowed, with the following restrictions:
- The delivery of marijuana shall be to a qualified patient or primary caregiver
- The amount of marijuana delivered to any qualified patient or primary caregiver shall not exceed eight (8) ounces for any single delivery
- Deliveries can only be conducted between the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Deliveries shall be from a point of origin outside of the City to a residence in the City.
- A dispensary wishing to make deliveries must obtain a State license when such license is made available by the State, to conduct deliveries.
- Deliveries shall be made by an employee of the dispensary and said employee shall carry with him/her at all times a physical copy of the City Business License and State license issued and shipping manifest when such a license & manifest are available
- Violations of the ordinance will mainly be handled as an abatement procedure.
Chief Cramer is in the process of drafting a permit application and creating a permit identification card. The permits last two years & the police department can track permits through our internal data entry system. Approved applications will allow for the Police Department or the City’s Planning Department to inspect cultivations. Keeping the permit process within the police department allows for continued anonymity and confidentiality from potential public records act requests involving individual cultivators.
Chief Cramer explained, “While the new ordinance is now straightforward and clear, this is definitely a work in progress. The state licensing won’t even go into effect until 2017. City Council wants to move toward allowing a dispensary and limited commercial cultivations. Recreational marijuana use will more than likely be approved at the November election. The California Legislature just passed legislation that removes the March 1st deadline. Cloverdale was ahead of the curve on this issue.” Chief Cramer asks that those affected by the new law be patient as the police department rolls out the program that coincides with our new ordinance.