Pubdate: Sat, 13 Feb 2016
Source: Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)
Copyright: 2016 Appeal-Democrat
Author: Andrew Creasey


Sutter County's medical marijuana growing ordinance could soon become 
considerably more strict.

The Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday on an urgency update to 
the ordinance it passed in 2013 that would ban outdoor cultivation 
completely and significantly reduce the scope of indoor gardens.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m. at the Board of Supervisors 
chambers, 466 Second St., Yuba City.

Besides banning outdoor cultivation, the updated ordinance would 
limit the amount of plants that could be grown indoors to 14.

Indoor cultivation could also only occur in a fully enclosed 
structure separate from the residence. The structures must include 
odor control filtration and ventilation systems, locking windows and 
doors, and lights that do not exceed 1,200 watts per fixture. The 
structures could only be built after obtaining building permits.

The ordinance would also prohibit mobile dispensaries (regular 
dispensaries were already banned in the 2013 ordinance) and make 
growing marijuana on vacant lots against the law.

The proposed ordinance intentionally coincides with the upcoming 
start of the marijuana growing season.

"The thrust for this has been that we have heard, either through 
county supervisors or citizens, about some of the concerns, 
particularly from some of the large outdoor grows," said Curtis Coad, 
interim county administrator. "Smell was a big factor, as was 
concerns about criminal activity. We also heard that marijuana 
consumes a lot of water, and in a drought, that's not necessarily a 
good thing."

Coad said the ordinance was also motivated by neighboring counties 
banning outdoor grows in a similar fashion.

"When other nearby counties ban it, there's likely to be more grows 
in areas that haven't banned it," Coad said.

The 2013 ordinance allowed outdoor cultivation, provided the garden 
was not located within 2,000 of a variety of areas, including 
schools, daycare centers, churches and bus stops, and conformed to 
setback limitations from property lines.

The new ordinance would ban outdoor cultivation completely and revoke 
any existing permits for outdoor grows.

The 2013 ordinance was passed with some debate. While the ordinance 
was welcomed by many residents who claim the plants increase crime 
and lower their quality of life with a pervasive odor, it also had 
some medical marijuana users crying foul, saying the law impinges on 
their legal ability to treat a variety of ailments with the crop.
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