With prompting from Sheriff Margaret Mims, Fresno County supervisors are poised to approve a major rewrite of the Fresno County cannabis law. If approved as expected Oct. 8, qualified patients would be able to grow up to 12 immature or mature cannabis plants per parcel. That’s a big change from the current ordinance, which bans all outdoor cultivation and places strict limits on indoor cultivation.
Oct. 8 update: The draft ordinance was pulled from the consent agenda and tabled after additional public comment and board discussion. County counsel was instructed to draft a new ordinance after receiving additional input from board members. No instruction was given to solicit input from cannabis growers, property owners or other stakeholders. Meeting audio.
Another new addition is a public nuisance ordinance, which has more enforcement weapons than the county’s administrative enforcement process. Violations can be charged as a misdemeanor, steep fines can be imposed on a daily basis, and there are provisions for sheriff’s deputies to obtain property inspection warrants and/or rip plants on the fly when conditions merit through a process called summary abatement.
The draft ordinance, which passed its first reading on Sept. 24, also continues the county’s current ban on consuming medical cannabis anywhere except the patient’s own home.
Audio of Sept. 24 board meeting:
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/113594465″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
The next board meeting is set for 9 a.m. Oct. 8 on the third floor of the Fresno County Hall of Records, 2281 Tulare St. in downtown Fresno. The second reading of the revised Fresno County cannabis law will be followed by a vote for final approval. Written comments may be submitted to the clerk to the board.
Audio of Oct. 8 board meeting:
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/114729771″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
The Fresno County Planning Commission was set to hear a companion ordinance on Thursday that would remove medical cannabis dispensaries as permitted uses in the Fresno County Zoning Code. According to the staff report, the proposed ordinance is exempt from review under the California Environmental Quality Act. Update: The companion ordinance was pulled from the Planning Commission agenda.