Pubdate: Sun, 15 Aug 2010
Source: Record Searchlight (Redding, CA)
Copyright: 2010 Record Searchlight
Author: Scott Mobley


Redding is poised to loosen a few of its medicinal cannabis
regulations and tighten a couple of others.

The City Council on Tuesday will consider more than a half-dozen
changes to requirements it imposed on Redding's cannabis clubs
starting in January.

One of those clubs has shut down since the regulations went into
effect in January, according to a council report. Eighteen clubs are
still operating.

Redding may relent on two of the laws drawing some of the harshest
criticism from patients and their advocates -- a ban on "clone" plants
for sale at cannabis clubs and a requirement that collective members
present a doctor's recommendation specifying medicine amounts.

Police Chief Peter Hansen helped draft the changes after meeting with
patient advocates who had sharply criticized the regulations as too
restrictive and invasive. In an interview, Hansen called that meeting
with advocates productive.

Hansen and City Attorney Rick Duvernay acknowledged in their council
report that collective members need to get plants from suppliers at
their club, not on the street.

"Requiring members who grow for the collective or want to grow for the
collective to exchange plants away from the collective site is onerous
and in the end results in plants being exchanged in the 'back
alleys,'" according to the report.

The city would allow clubs to dedicate up 10 percent of their floor
space, or 50 square feet, to nonbudding cannabis "clones," under the
proposed changes.

A much-criticized requirement that cannabis club members show a
doctor's recommendation specifying how much dried marijuana they need
for treatment was not scheduled to go into effect until January.

But the city will loosen that requirement before it ever takes hold,
should the council approve.

The California Medical Association does not recommend doctors provide
specific advice about how much cannabis to use for relief. Such advice
could be seen as aiding and abetting, because marijuana remains
illegal under federal law, according to a council report.

The city would allow a doctor's recommendation for a maximum amount to
treat the illness or a patient's reported maximum required dose as
expressed to the doctor, under the proposed changes.

A third proposed change in the regulations would create new
restrictions for indoor industrial grows after officials discovered a
cannabis nursery flourishing in a building without permits or the
owner's knowledge.

The new regulations would require indoor nursery growers to get
permits and prove the property owner condones the operation. The city
would limit nursery grows to industrial areas.

Under other proposed changes, the city also would:

- - Require background checks for all collective employees starting in

- - Forbid collectives within 1,000 feet of a drug or alcohol treatment

- - Allow tobacco use at collectives.

Redding's medicinal cannabis clubs tallied an estimated $486,000 from
Jan. 1 through March 31, generating $4,860 of sales tax for the city
during the first quarter of this year, City Manager Kurt Starman said.


What: Redding City Council meeting

When: 6 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Council chambers, 777 Cypress Ave.

Agenda includes: Midyear budget report, medicinal cannabis regulations 
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