After leaving well enough alone for several years, the Clovis City Council stepped into the field of cannabis cultivation regulation with both feet. They may wish they’d worn different shoes.
The new rules for growing medical cannabis in Clovis were passed Monday, Pablo Lopez reports in the Fresno Bee. Mayor Jose Flores pushed for a total ban on medical marijuana, but City Attorney David Wolfe warned that approach would be difficult to defend in court.
Of course, the same might be said of the ordinance passed Monday. Among its provisions:
– No outdoor cultivation, period. You can grow inside a home or an attached structure like a garage, provided you meet several other conditions like …
– Grow areas limited to 36 square feet. Maximum lighting is 1200 watts. Dedicated ventilation and odor-control systems. No CO2 supplies.
– Collective cultivation is no longer allowed in R-A zoning district. In theory, it’s allowed in M-1 industrial zones, with a 99-plant cap and no on-site consumption. Requirements that no sales occur and that all collective members must participate in growing run counter to California appellate cases, and the required disclosures for police raise further patient-privacy concerns.
– A related finding that the new ordinance is exempt from review under the California Environmental Quality Act. The legality of such a finding has not been adjudicated.
The ordinance takes effect on or about Nov. 7 and includes a six-month grace period for enforcement. Police Chief Janet Davis told the council the new ordinance “gives us a more effective tool” to regulate cannabis cultivation. Time will tell.