Pubdate: Sat, 05 Dec 2009
Source: Record Searchlight (Redding, CA)
Copyright: 2009 Record Searchlight
Author: Scott Mobley
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


The Redding Planning Commission is poised to endorse  zoning that
would allow indoor and outdoor medical  marijuana cultivation in the
city - but with tight  restrictions.

The commission is expected to vote Tuesday on the  proposed ordinance,
which also would set strict limits  on where new medicinal cannabis
clubs may operate.

The new zoning would complement cannabis club  regulations the City
Council adopted last month. The  council must also give ultimate
approval before the  zoning restrictions on cultivation go into effect.

Redding hosts 20 to 30 cannabis clubs, with some  estimates as high as
40. No one knows for sure.

Collectives are clustered along the South Market Street  spine through
downtown and along Churn Creek Road.  Collectives have also set up
shop on Hartnell Avenue,  Bechelli Lane, Cypress Avenue and Lake
Boulevard,  according to a map supplied to the commission.

The proposed zoning would not allow the clubs along  Lake Boulevard,
Hartnell and the northern part of  downtown to operate. Another
collective could not take  the place of a club closing in those areas.

The zoning would allow new clubs in heavy commercial  and general
commercial areas along Highway 44 near  Airport Road, along Twin View
Boulevard and the more  southern stretches of South Market Street, all
farther  from the center of town.

The city would permit up to 100 square feet of space  dedicated to
outdoor and indoor medical marijuana  cultivation for each qualified
patient, under the  proposed ordinance.

Officials would limit each address or parcel to three  patients, for a
maximum 300 square feet of cultivated  space indoors and outdoors
combined. The marijuana  plant canopy would define that space.

Patients growing marijuana outdoors would see their  gardens limited
to rear or side yards, under the  ordinance.

Around those gardens, the city would require 15-foot  setbacks for
side yards facing the street and 10-foot  setbacks for interior side
or rear yards. Marijuana  gardens would not be allowed any closer than
30 feet  from the nearest neighboring home.

Patients could not grow marijuana plants taller than 8  feet, under
the zoning. The city would require  non-climbable fences at least 6
feet tall around any  marijuana garden.

Indoor grows would face similar spatial restrictions to  100 square
feet or 10 percent of a home's total floor  area - whichever is
larger. Garages and attics don't  count as floor area, under the
proposed zoning.

The city would require contractor certification for any  electrical
loads greater than 1,200 watts used for  growing medical marijuana

Officials would forbid using butane, carbon dioxide or  any other gas
to power indoor cultivation.

Redding would also require proper ventilation for an  indoor grow, and
stipulate that the qualified patient  live in the home where his or
her medicine is  cultivated.

Finally, city officials would require growers  cultivating for a
medicinal cannabis club to file an  affidavit with the director of the
city's Development  Services Department, stating the name of the
collective  being supplied and the quantity each calendar year.

Patients living on small or irregular lots may seek  exceptions from
the setback requirements under the  zoning.

And patients with physician recommendations for more  medical
marijuana than allowed for cultivation under  the zoning may also seek

The cannabis club regulations recently approved by the  council are
perhaps the most comprehensive and  far-reaching yet approved in the

Several patients and patient advocates have already  threatened
litigation, saying Redding's medical  marijuana regulations are
unconstitutionally  restrictive.

Collectives must allow the police chief access to their  records so
authorities can determine whether the  business serves qualified
medical marijuana patients  under the new regulations, which go into
effect in  January.

The city also will require doctors to specify amounts  in their
medical marijuana recommendations to  collective members, limit
cannabis sales to dried buds  and ask members to verify that they
don't belong to  more than one collective in Shasta County.

These regulations are designed to weed out  profit-driven dope dealers
from legitimate medical  marijuana collectives, which are supposed to
be  nonprofit, Redding officials have said.

If you're going

   What: Redding Planning Commission meeting.

   When: 4 p.m. Tuesday.

   Where: Council Chambers, 777 Cypress Ave.

   Agenda includes: Medical marijuana cultivation. 
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D