Mar 262015

The Fresno City Council voted Thursday to permit the indoor-only cultivation of up to four medical cannabis plants, a slight change of course from the zero-tolerance ban it passed last year.

The ordinance was brought forth by council President Oliver Baines III, who chaired a medical marijuana subcommittee that met with stakeholders last May. At that time, medical cannabis patients expressed serious reservations about the four-plant limit and the continued ban on outdoor cultivation, as well as a related proposal that would have allowed only one dispensary in the city of 510,000 people. No action was taken regarding collectives or dispensaries Thursday.

Fresno Bee: Fresno takes first step toward medical pot regulation

Medical cannabis advocates Derek Payton and Michael Green lauded the council for considering any cultivation after imposing the total ban, but they noted that Senate Bill 420 provides for a minimum of six plants per patient. They also attacked the city’s environmental findings, which likened growing marijuana to growing house plants while concluding there were no possible impacts. The same finding was made regarding the city’s total ban, and a lawsuit challenging that ordinance is set for trial May 15.

Council members split 5-2 on the new ordinance, which still must pass a second reading before final approval. Voting in favor were Baines and Council Members Clint Olivier, Lee Brand, Paul Caprioglio and Esmeralda Soria, whom Baines appointed to the city’s ersatz medical marijuana subcommittee with himself and Olivier. Council Members Steve Brandau and Sal Quintero voted against the new law without explanation.

4-plant indoor cannabis growing ordinance | City of Fresno

Mar 182015

Fresno County supervisors voted Tuesday to uphold $477,000 in fines imposed against medical cannabis patients and property owners, while granting one property owner’s appeal. The vote was more symbolic than substantive, as many of the patients cited have either left the county or lack the ability to pay. Yet Tuesday’s hearings highlighted the fine-centric approach adopted by Fresno County, as well as the plight of non-resident property owners who get cited right along with the [read more …]

Mar 122015

Title: Fresno County Cannabis CircusStart Time: 9 a.m.Date: Tuesday, March 17, 2015Location: Fresno County Hall of Records, 3rd Floor, 2281 Tulare St., FresnoDescription: Fresno County supervisors will pull out their rubber stamps to approve cannabis cultivation fines totaling $1.5 million against seven Prop. 215 patient-growers AND the owners of the property where the plants were grown. The smallest fine is $67,000; the largest is $800,000. Although the facts vary in each case, these leftovers from [read more …]

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Mar 112015

A lawsuit challenging Fresno County’s cannabis cultivation ban on environmental grounds is nearing its final destination, with hearing set for April 30 in Fresno County Superior Court. The trial notebook shown below contains all the pleadings in the lawsuit filed against the County of Fresno by Michael S. Green, a medical cannabis patient and advocate. The suit alleges that the county violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) when its cannabis cultivation ban was enacted [read more …]

Mar 052015

New court filings are available for viewing in the lawsuit filed by the Fresno Cannabis Association and the Union of Medical Marijuana Patients against the City of Fresno. The suit challenges the city’s cannabis cultivation ban, which was enacted in 2014 after Fresno County also banned growing. Both the city and county ordinances impose heavy fines of $1000 per plant for violations. The suit alleges that the city violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) [read more …]

Feb 252015

Fresno County supervisors voted 5-0 Tuesday to approve several changes to its medical cannabis ordinance, but the county’s dual bans on dispensaries and cultivation remain firmly in place. The amendments were intended to clarify the county’s stated claims that it can pretty much do what it wants in terms of enforcement. The county can show up without notice and rip down your plants, with or without your permission to go on the property. The county [read more …]