Pubdate: Wed, 30 Dec 2015
Source: Paradise Post (CA)
Copyright: 2015 Paradise Post
Author: Trevor Warner, Paradise Post


New regulations that prompted Paradise officials to ban medical 
marijuana in town limits will only have a minor effect at the county level.

"It is my understanding of the new rules from California, that a 
county or municipality that had regulations on marijuana didn't have 
to do any extra steps," Doug Teeter, Butte County Fifth District 
Supervisor, said.

The county already bans dispensaries and also has an ordinance 
regulating cultivation.

The county allows marijuana gardens of 50, 100 and 150 square feet 
depending on the parcel size. The new regulations require marijuana 
gardens larger than 100 square feet to be registered with the state.

"There will be some refinements to the ordinance," Tim Snellings, 
Butte County Development Services Director, said. "Butte County 
already has a fairly prohibitive ordinance."

One thing that needs to be refined could save the county time and 
money in the long run. The new laws define marijuana as agriculture, 
a category protected by "right to farm" laws, Snellings said. Right 
to farm laws outline what constitutes a nuisance, he said. Farmers 
are generally exempt from complaints about dust, lighting, noise and 
other issues associated with farming, he said.

"We are going to remove marijuana from (right to farm exemptions)," 
he said. "The county already has a marijuana ordinance that sets the 
framework of what constitutes a nuisance. We don't want to get into a 
claim that falls into the right to farm area."

Snellings said the county doesn't have any regulations regarding 
delivery so that will have to be refined as well. State law makes it 
clear, he said, that if someone is delivering between two 
jurisdictions that approve of medical marijuana, the county has no 
authority to act.

He said he will bring a full report regarding the issue to the Board 
of Supervisors meeting on Jan. 12, along with his recommendations to 
amend the ordinance.

Paradise Town Manager Lauren Gill said that while it is true that 
municipalities that already have regulations don't have to go through 
any extra steps, Paradise only had some regulations in place.

The town also doesn't regulate deliveries, which is proposed to be 
added to Paradise's new ordinance. Gill said the town already bans 
dispensaries and the town council may decide to reconsider the town's 
growing regulations as well. With the new laws taking effect on 
Friday, Gill said it was appropriate to bring the matter before the council.

Snellings said there is some work to be done to ensure the new 
marijuana laws are clearly understood and implemented and the 
discussion isn't going to stop anytime soon.

"We're going to have to do a good job of educating the public on how 
all this is really going to work."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom