Pubdate: Sun, 08 Feb 2015
Source: Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)
Copyright: 2015 Appeal-Democrat
Author: Eric Vodden


No matter what Yuba County supervisors do with their medical 
marijuana cultivation ordinance this week, it's time to do something, 
a board member said.

"I think the public and everybody would like to hear something 
happen," said Supervisor Randy Fletcher, whose 5th District is home 
to most medical marijuana grows. "I think the board would like to 
make something happen."

Supervisors on Tuesday afternoon may do just that during the latest 
discussion on making the county's medical marijuana ordinance more 
restrictive. The session - following earlier meetings that drew some 
300 supporters and opponents - will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday in the 
County Government Center in Marysville.

Board chairwoman Mary Jane Griego said she is ready to move forward 
on the issue after dealing with it since late November.

"I hope we do so for the sake of both sides," Griego said. "I hope we 
are able to reach some agreement. I don't know if it's going to be 
perfect, but I hope we can reach some consensus from both sides."

Supervisors last month seemed on the verge of supporting more 
restrictive medical marijuana cultivation regulations. Consideration 
followed complaints by residents of alleged increased criminal 
activity surrounding grows.

An exclamation point was added when regional drug agents last week 
busted one of the state's largest-ever marijuana honey oil labs on 
LaPorte Road near Brownsville.

"I suspect there is a lot more going on in the foothills than any of 
us realize," Fletcher said. "The importance of us moving on this 
issue is here and now."

Supervisors on Tuesday will consider two options - one an ordinance 
modeled on one adopted in Shasta County, and the other a scaled-back 
version of the existing Yuba County ordinance.

While Yuba County allows 18 outdoor plants on an acre or less and as 
many as 99 on 20 acres or more, the Shasta ordinance allows no 
outdoor grows and a dozen indoor plants in an accessory structure.

With the scaled-back option, outdoor cultivation would be prohibited 
on less than an acre with up to six indoor plants allowed. For 
parcels one to five acres, a maximum of 12 indoor or outdoor plants 
would be allowed, but no more than six indoors.

For parcels from five to 20 acres, no more than 18 plants would be 
cultivated with a maximum of six indoors while as many as 30 could be 
grown on more than 20 acres.

Both options would also include a requirement for growers to register 
and pay an annual fee to the county.

Griego said if the board provides direction on Tuesday, an ordinance 
could be brought back for a formal hearing on Feb. 24 with final 
adoption in March.

Griego and Supervisor John Nicoletti made up an ad hoc committee that 
met with medical marijuana growers and nongrowing residents.

"We have been meeting with different aspects of the growers," Griego 
said. "There are different groups within the growing community.

"It was basically sharing information about some of the issues and 
some of the things they thought would work."

It's been a difficult issue to address, Griego said, because of high 
emotions on both sides - growers who depend on medical marijuana for 
their sicknesses and residents concerned about safety issues.

"I don't think any county in the state has had more workshops or 
community meetings on this than Yuba County," Griego said. "I have 
talked to people from other counties, and they mostly have just 
imposed new regulations."
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