City buckles down on marijuana cultivation in response to Prop 64

MARTINEZ, Calif. – City Council Wednesday night approved the extension of urgency ordinances pertaining to marijuana cultivation after the passage of Proposition 64, which legalized the use of marijuana to persons over the age of 21 in California.

The extension further imposes a moratorium on the outdoor cultivation of non-medical marijuana, further restricts indoor cultivation of non-medical marijuana, and also extends the regulation of indoor cultivation of medical marijuana within the city of Martinez.

The City adopted the urgency ordinances in anticipation of Prop 64, and agreed to extend them due to the “current and immediate threat to the public health, safety and welfare of substantial numbers of persons cultivating marijuana indoors and outdoors and creating the complaints, safety problems and enforcement problems already experienced in the City of Martinez and elsewhere, and exposing citizens to robberies, potential violence, vandalism of property and theft of marijuana plants,” a report to council from Martinez Chief of Police Manjit Sappal stated.

The extension will allow the city time to retain specialists who can provide expert advice to the City, consult with representatives of the marijuana industry, conduct workshops and engage in other public outreach efforts, and to educate the general public about the nature and impacts of marijuana businesses, the report states.

Those efforts will take place within the next 60 to 120 days, after which City staff will continually monitor any changes with the state regulatory and permitting scheme.

“The passage of Proposition 64 has created a complex, state-wide licensing system for commercial production, delivery, marketing, testing and selling of non-medical marijuana that require adequate study and consideration of its impacts. Proposition 64 does not require the issuance of state-wide licenses until January 2018 and at present, the state has not yet developed regulations for medical marijuana businesses and activities,” the report states. “The City has insufficient time and resources available to address the numerous issues implicated by these new laws and additional time is needed to study and assess its impacts.”

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