Council Approves Cannabis Moratorium Extension, Committed to Lift Moratorium

marijuana-close-upby Kayla Pace

New cannabis policy has come to the City of Davis. On December 6th, the City Council met in the community chambers and discussed an extension for the emergency moratorium on all commercial cannabis uses that was passed November 1st, 2016. The moratorium that was passed a month ago does not apply to the deliveries and collectives that are currently serving the needs of the local Davis patient community.

The proposal brought forth by staff to the City Council included a comprehensive plan to investigate the feasibility of several types of permitted medical cannabis uses within city limits, including dispensaries, manufacturing and testing facilities.

During this week’s meeting there was a suggested direction from City Council to prioritize outdoor cultivation regulations first with an overall moratorium extension set initially for October 2017. Councilmember Will Arnold moved to end the moratorium on July 4th, 2017 to be on par with other regional and industry developments, citing the local voter support for Proposition 64, legalizing adult use cannabis consumption and possession, on November 8th.

This moratorium reduction would also give outside business interests the opportunity to pitch in at the grassroots level in the community decision making process, which is key for development in places like Davis. Councilmember Rochelle Swanson seconded the motion. The amended extension and addition passed 4-1, with Councilmember Brett Lee as the “No” vote.

The Council is looking for local input to inform future recommendations concerning the cannabis community. Staff was instructed by City Council to launch a robust outreach effort, with the local patient community at the forefront to ensure their input is prioritized. There will also be community workshops covering specific policy topics, which will be determined by the beginning of 2017.

All of this input, along with policy research and guidelines once collected will be consolidated by city staff and presented as official policy recommendations in March 2017 to the planning commission and council. This will allow the Commissioners and Councilmembers time to form a decision on the recommendations, with a final vote by April or May 2017. These new policies and ordinances need a window of time before they can become law, hence early action before the July 4th directive.

The Davis community model that is forming for cannabis could potentially be a leading model for cities and counties statewide, but the job rests on local consumers, growers, businesses, and community members alike to keep pressure on our leaders for sensible policies. City staff will conduct coordinated outreach efforts, but, with few specifics, it is vital for our communities to keep an eye out on how and where to provide input if our regional cannabis cluster is to flourish in years to come.

Kayla Pace has been a long time advocate for social justice, part of which was serving in the Davis area while attending the University of California, Davis where she studied Psychology and Sociology.  She is Community Engagement Coordinator for Integrate Cal Community Partners.

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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  1. SODA

    This article does not describe the lengthy discussion which tried to push staff for quicker response. Especially Rochelle and Will talked about the need for swifter action for a subject that has been on the radar for a long time.

    1. Matt Williams

      Good point SODA.  Both Will and Rochelle were very clear in their message that October was an unnecessarily long timeframe.  Staff did indicate that if they get all their work done earlier than October they would bring forward an item to Council for action at that earlier date.

  2. Tia Will

    I enjoy satire and individual anecdotes….obviously….but I would also like to point out that while it is fun to post comments and pictures making light of the cannabis issue, for many individuals dependent upon cannabis for management of health related issues such as nausea and pain control, this is issue has a very serious component, just as it does for those who are concerned about the deleterious effects of making injudicious decisions about where, when and who can grow and dispense marijuana.

    I appreciate the deliberate manner in which our CC council is handling this issue.

  3. Edison

    My comments are probably a matter of being “late to the party,” and I confess to only hearing a small portion of the Council discussion. My only concern about both the new State law and any regulations adopted by the City of Davis pertain to a snippet of a comment I heard made by one Councilmember, that pertaining to smoking marijuana in public. While cannabis may indeed be important to some individuals for health reasons, there are others, such as myself, who get highly nauseous after inhaling marijuana smoke.

    My wife and I have had our enjoyment of several outdoor concerts ruined by nearby thoughtless attendees who insisted in “lighting up” even though the venue had signs posted stating that smoking was banned in the facility.  (This most recently happened about 18 months ago during a concert at UC Berkeley’s amphitheater. The signs at the entrance clearly stated “no smoking inside,” but the majority of the attendees evidently thought that prohibition only pertained to tobacco products.)  We came home feeling like an elephant had sat on our lungs, and felt too incapacitated by the smoke to do a planned bike ride the next day.

    We hope the City and those who smoke marijuana will take into consideration the impacts of smoke on those who don’t indulge.  There are currently State laws that prohibit cigarette and cigar smoking near the entrances to public buildings.  (Good thing, too, because there’s nothing worse than exiting an airport terminal and walking through a cloud of smoke.)  I hope the same regulations will pertain to smoking marijuana. Some of us will be less inclined to shop in downtown Davis if the only way to do is walking through clouds of smoke.  I know these comments may be regarded as politically incorrect and regressive by some, but I think refraining from public smoking of any kind is simply a matter of common courtesy.

    1. Barack Palin

      I think refraining from public smoking of any kind is simply a matter of common courtesy.

      I agree with you Edison.  But I think anyone relying on common courtesy to keep from having to breathe mj smoke well good luck with that.

        1. Barack Palin

          We’ve been through this already.  Medical card carrying mj smokers will be able to smoke in public.  We all know how easy it is to get the mj med cards.

          As for the second urgency ordinance, which dealt with the explicit inclusion of cannabis smoking within the current city smoking ordinances, the council raised concerns over the effects of the ordinance’s proposed language on the rights of medical patients.
          Specifically, the language would have added all public sidewalks and public/private parking lots to the list of prohibitive locations within the city, which would have had the danger of targeting vulnerable communities (such as patients who were not allowed to consume their medicine because of landlord requests or those without homes).
          The council expressed interest in keeping the local smoking laws for cannabis on par with tobacco, whereby a series of smoking regulations went into effectlast year. Councilmember Will Arnold advocated for these increased cannabis smoking restrictions to only apply to non-medical, adult use and not medical use cannabis, expressing concern for the rights of medical cannabis patients and ensured that their perspectives are not lost in the policy discussions.

      1. Tia Will

        Hi Edison,

        I take your comments completely seriously and do not give a darn one way or the other about PC or un PC comments. I share your hope that marijuana smoke will be considered exactly as is tobacco smoke.

        I have quite a lot of empathy for this concern since I have a similar issue. I am very strongly adversely affected by scents ( perfumes, colognes, aftershaves….). The effect for me is like an allergic reaction with sneezing, watering eyes and the feeling that my airways are tightening. The worst for me is when I am in the enclosed space of an exam room with a patient who has indulged to excess ( from my point of view). I am also too strongly affected to go past a cosmetics counter of a department store and my choices of hairdresser are limited shops that are separated from any products counter. I had to leave some banking unfinished one day because the scent the male banker was wearing in an enclosed space was  causing me to feel short of breath.

    1. Tia Will


      What happened to Tia’s response about the mj smoke that bothers Edison?”

      Well, as it happens it was deferred until after my grocery shopping, Christmas gift and card purchases, laundry and candy making. I hope that all of these activities meet with your approval and am completely sure that all of the Vanguard participants are as fascinated as you seem to be by the timing of my responses.



  4. Alan Miller

    Berkeley and SF quite common to have public mj smoke in crowded areas.  Prop. 64 changed nothing.

    Worst situation with human perfumes is in cubicle space.  No way to escape without confronting someone who doesn’t understand smells should be limited to within a few inches of your personal space, not float over the walls into everyone elses.

  5. Barack Palin

    It comes off as hypocritical that some of the same people who were against fireplace smoke are now playing down that fact that people will end up inhaling second hand mj smoke in our downtown.

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