Pubdate: Tue, 15 Dec 2015
Source: Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)
Copyright: 2015 Appeal-Democrat
Author: Eric Vodden


Another ordinance could allow for more dispensaries

A proposed ban on marijuana cultivation in Marysville, along with 
loosening up regulations for cannabis dispensaries, will be 
considered by the City Council tonight.

After more than a year of marijuana cultivation and enforcement being 
at the forefront of Yuba County politics, Marysville enters the fray 
tonight when it considers the two cannabis ordinances. One would ban 
marijuana cultivation "in all zoning districts" in the city, while 
the other increases locations where dispensaries can be located.

An exception to the cultivation ban would be that plants could be 
grown in connection with dispensaries. Public hearings for the first 
readings of each ordinance will be during today's 6 p.m. session in 
City Hall, 526 C St.

Mayor Ricky Samayoa said on Monday the cultivation ordinance was 
prompted by new state law requiring cities to have such regulations 
in place before March. The city currently has no cannabis cultivation 

But the consideration of a dispensary ordinance was a result of 
increased state legislation regulating medical marijuana and outside 
interest in locating dispensaries in Marysville, Samayoa said.

"It is seeming like the sense of the council is that there is a 
desire to look at this in order to loosen up the requirements," Samayoa said.

"More than anything I think there has been an interest out there. 
There have been four or five different groups that have approached the city."

The cultivation ordinance is modeled on that used in Live Oak that 
bans marijuana grows in that city. Live Oak's regulations have been 
used as a legal precedent since the 3rd District Court of Appeal in 
2013 upheld the law and the state Supreme Court declined to hear an 
appeal on the ruling.

However, a separate ordinance would allow no more than two 
dispensaries within the city limits if they meet various criteria. A 
conditional use permit would be required, meaning each proposal would 
have to be considered by the planning commission and City Council.

"Right now, we are figuring out the land use," Samayoa said. "If it's 
approved, we have to figure out how to handle the different 
proposals. And they would also have to meet the standards set by the state."

The city currently has a dispensary ordinance, but it's so 
restrictive that the only location believed to be eligible is along 
Highway 20 near Recology Yuba-Sutter.

Marysville's considerations tonight comes with the likelihood of 
separate special elections in June on cultivation and dispensary 
ordinances in unincorporated areas of the county. While city voters 
would be eligible to cast ballots in those elections, neither would 
take effect within the city limits.

The Yuba County-based Families Against Cannabis Trafficking (FACT) 
will oppose the city dispensary ordinance during tonight's public 
hearing, organization leader Buck Weckman said.

In a flyer distributed by the group, it charges that allowing 
dispensaries "appears to be an attempt at a financial bailout for the 
city as they propose auctioning off the dispensary/grow permits to 
the highest bidders.

"Is this punishment for the residents refusal to pass a tax increase?"

If the cultivation ban is approved by the council, it would leave 
only the city of Wheatland, which allows indoor cultivation, where 
public marijuana cultivation would be allowed in Yuba County.

A Look at the Ordinances

Marysville's proposed marijuana growing ordinance states that 
"cultivation of cannabis, whether indoors or outdoors, by any person 
or entity, including primary caregivers and qualified patients .... 
is prohibited in all zoning districts ..."

Violations of the ordinance would be a misdemeanor carrying a $1,000 
fine and/or as much as six months in county jail.

However, the cultivation ordinance would allow indoor marijuana grows 
in connection with licensed dispensaries, which are addressed in the 
second proposed ordinance before the council.

The dispensary ordinance sets up separate criteria for dispensaries 
within the Medical Arts District of the city's Bounce Back plan for 
economic development and elsewhere in the city. The Medical Arts 
district is the area in the vicinity of Rideout Memorial Hospital.

For a dispensary to be allowed outside the Medical Arts District, it 
can't be located within 1,000 feet of a school or licensed day care; 
500 feet of a residential area, neighborhood park, library or other 
recreational areas used by children; or 250 feet of adult businesses 
providing drug paraphernalia.

Within the Medical Arts District, dispensaries would be allowed if 
its not within 400 feet of a school, park or library; or 250 feet of 
a residential use or adult business. It also limits the number of 
dispensaries to two and would require a conditional use permit, 
meaning it would have to be reviewed by the planning commission and 
City Council.

Hours of operation would be limited from 6 a.m.-10 p.m., minors would 
be banned from the premises, security would have to be provided and 
state licensing would be required.

An additional provision of the ordinance is that dispensaries be 
required to provide annual funding for the full cost of a city police officer.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom