Pubdate: Mon, 07 Mar 2016
Source: Chico Enterprise-Record (CA)
Copyright: 2016 Chico Enterprise-Record
Note: Letters from newspaper's circulation area receive publishing priority
Author: Ryan Olson


Oroville - Butte County supervisors have few items on their Tuesday 
agenda, leaving ample consideration for two challenges to recent 
marijuana rule changes.

The board will reconsider recent changes to the county's medical 
marijuana cultivation rules and right-to-farm ordinance. Two 
petitions filed by the Inland Cannabis Farmers Association prevented 
January changes from going into effect, although the previous 
ordinances remain active.

The farmers group filed two petitions with about 13,000 signatures 
each on Feb. 24. In order for the petitions to be certified, the 
group needed 6,177 valid signatures for each item.

The Clerk-Recorder's Office conducted a random check of the 
petitions' signatures and will certify the petitions to the board Tuesday.

Supervisors face two choices - repeal the changes or submit the 
matter to voters. If the items are put up for a vote, they may be 
scheduled for either the June 7 primary election or a special 
election after 88 days.

Board chairman and Oroville-area Supervisor Bill Connelly said last 
week that he believed the board was inclined to let the voters decide 
on the items.

Jessica MacKenzie, director of the Inland Cannabis Farmers 
Association, said the group would be at Tuesday's meeting. She has 
said voters should be able to decide on significant changes to the ordinances.

The matters under consideration are the changes to the ordinances. 
The previous rules remain in effect, including cultivation rules 
approved by voters in 2014.

The current cultivation rules generally set growing dimensions based 
on lot size. There are also other conditions, including residency 
requirements and having a proper water source and disposal system.

In January, the board approved changes intended to clarify allowable 
garden sizes and combining the county's citation and nuisance 
abatement process into one.

The right-to-farm ordinance limits when proper agricultural 
operations may be deemed a nuisance under county rules. The county 
board changed the ordinance to state that marijuana cultivation isn't 
deem an agricultural operation.

County officials have said considering marijuana as agriculture in 
the right-to-farm rules may conflict with cultivation rules where 
violations are treated as nuisances.

MacKenzie and others have pointed out that the right-to-farm 
ordinance respects federal law, where marijuana remains prohibited.

The board meeting begins at 9 a.m. at the County Administration 
Building, 25 County Center Drive, Oroville. The meeting agenda, staff 
reports and video are available at


Know and Go

What: Butte County Board of Supervisors meeting.

When: 9 a.m., Tuesday.

Where: County Administration Building, 25 County Center Drive, Oroville.

Online: Agendas, reports and video at
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