On Monday, May 16 the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will vote on an Urgency Ordinance Amending Chapter 9.31 of Title 9 of the Mendocino County Code Entitled, Medical Marijuana Cultivation Regulation.
The last several months have been marked by a determined effort on the part of several stakeholders with leadership from Supervisors Mcowen and Woodhouse. This effort has resulted in significant progress. Common ground is far greater than disagreement at this point. While the proposed urgency falls far short of a long term solution, it may function as a valuable stopgap measure as stakeholders continue to work on a permanent ordinance, which is expected to take 6 to 9 months.
To: Mendocino County Board of Supervisors
RE: Urgency Ordinance Amending Section 9.31 of Title 9 of the Mendocino County Code -- Support if amended
We are pleased to offer conditional support for the proposed urgency ordinance. We commend the ad-hoc committee for their hard work and leadership on this issue. The urgency ordinance provides an important and immediate stepping stone for our community as we work to transition to full regulation and licensure in 2018.
The enactment of an urgency ordinance before the summer of 2016 will dramatically increase and expedite the positive impacts of regulating cannabis cultivation. In order to be successful, an urgency ordinance must attract broad based participation from existing growers.
We propose 4 specific amendments that will strengthen the ordinance and increase participation rates significantly. We encourage your careful consideration of the following:
- Moving from mandatory to voluntary registration for 25 plants;
- All cultivation should be defined as plant count OR square footage;
- Establish allowances for cultivation on parcels at a minimum of five (5) acres;
- An amnesty for compliance with building codes will be in effect in order to allow permit holders to bring structures up to code. Additionally, permits will be issued as long as permittees are in process of of coming into civil compliance regarding sellers permit, business license and other requirements.
Thank you for your patience, hard work and focus in the development of this urgency ordinance. We look forward to working ever more closely with you to make sustained progress toward a well regulated cannabis future.