City Still Figuring Out How to Implement Recreational Marijuana in Davis

Share:

The city of Davis is seeking feedback from the community about how the Adult Use of Marijuana Act should be implemented in Davis.  The act legalizes personal consumption, personal cultivation and a commercial cannabis industry.

The city is in the process of drafting regulations and is seeking community feedback through a surveymonkey survey to help guide this work.  The survey asks whether Davis residents should be able to grow marijuana in their backyards and whether there should be dispensaries permitted in Davis.

The Planning Commission will hear an item on proposed zoning amendments regulating personal cultivation of cannabis this evening.  The council will then have a workshop on March 21 followed by council hearings on the proposed ordinance in April into June.

Effective January 1, 2016, the state legislature passed the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.  The regulation among other things “required the City to have land use regulations in effect by March 1, 2016 that regulate or prohibit medical marijuana cultivation and medical marijuana businesses.”

As the result of being forced to act by March 1 or default to the state becoming the sole licensing authority, the council adopted last January an ordinance that prohibited “commercial cultivation and personal outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana in all City zoning districts, while allowing certain limited personal indoor medical marijuana cultivation.”

The city has long prohibited medical marijuana dispensaries based on the 1996 state ballot initiative.

In November 2016, the City adopted an urgency ordinance that addresses “medical and adult use marijuana business and uses that may not be clearly prohibited or regulated within the City and thereafter, to allow the City time to conduct research, engage in community outreach, consult with neighboring jurisdictions, obtain the election results for Proposition 64, and develop a comprehensive set of regulations to bring back to City Council for consideration at a future meeting.”

Staff writes, “The moratorium was necessary to ensure a marijuana business does not establish operations in a location that could present conflicts with surrounding uses. State law requires that the initial moratorium can only be in effect for 45-days but City Council has the option to extend the moratorium prior to expiration for up to an additional 180 days.”

The council then extended the urgency ordinance through July 4, with staff directed to return to council by March for direction on potential future uses.

Under the state law:

  • Legalizes the non-medical use of marijuana by persons over 21 years of age.
  • Persons over 21 years of age are allowed to possess, transport, purchase, obtain or give away up to 28.5 grams of non-concentrated or 8 grams of concentrated marijuana.
  • No smoking of marijuana is allowed in public places (except where authorized locally).
  • No smoking of marijuana is allowed where smoking tobacco is prohibited.
  • Persons over 21 years of age are allowed to cultivate up to six (6) marijuana plants within a private residence, inclusive of within a greenhouse or other structure on the same parcel of the property that is not visible from a public space. A residence includes single-family homes, multi-family apartment units and mobile homes.
  • Local governments may reasonably regulate but not prohibit personal indoor cultivation.
  • Local governments may regulate or prohibit personal outdoor cultivation.

Key points regarding the proposed ordinance include the following:

Indoor Cultivation

  • Permitted in all residential districts, all residential uses within planned development districts of a similar nature, and residential uses within mixed-use districts.
  • All indoor personal cultivation, including by a qualified patient or primary caregiver, shall occur in a dwelling or fully-enclosed accessory building or structure.
  • Structures and equipment used for indoor cultivation, such as indoor grow lights, shall comply with all applicable building, electrical and fire code regulations as adopted by the city.
  • The cumulative cultivation area for medical marijuana shall total no more than 50 contiguous square feet per qualified patient, and no larger than 250 contiguous square feet for primary caregivers, regardless of how many qualified patients or primary caregivers reside at the premises. Either a qualified patient or primary caregiver shall reside full-time on the premises where the marijuana cultivation occurs.
  • For persons other than qualified patients or primary caregivers, all personal cultivation shall be conducted by persons 21 years of age or older. For persons other than qualified patients or primary caregivers, the cumulative total of marijuana plants on the property, indoor and outdoor, shall not exceed 6 marijuana plants, regardless of the number of persons residing on the property.
  • Personal cultivation of marijuana shall not interfere with the primary occupancy of the building or structure, including regular use of kitchen or bathrooms.
  • No exterior evidence of marijuana cultivation occurring at the property shall be discernable from the public right-of-way.
  • The ordinance does not preclude any landlord from limiting or prohibiting personal cultivation of marijuana by tenants.
  • The ordinance does not authorize commercial cultivation of marijuana.

Outdoor Cultivation

  • Permitted in all residential districts, all residential uses within planned development districts of a similar nature, and residential uses within mixed-use districts.
  • Permitted only in a rear or side yard that is entirely enclosed by a solid, opaque fence that is associated with a dwelling or secondary dwelling unit.
  • The height of the marijuana plants shall not exceed the standard fence height applicable to the parcel, or 6 feet, whichever is lesser.
  • The marijuana plants shall be placed at a minimum setback of 3 feet from the edge of mature canopy to the property line.
  • No exterior evidence of marijuana cultivation occurring at the property shall be discernable from the public right-of-way.
  • For persons other than qualified patients or primary caregivers, all personal cultivation shall be conducted by persons 21 years of age or older. The cumulative total of marijuana plants on the property, indoor and outdoor, shall not exceed six (6) marijuana plants, regardless of the number of persons residing on the property.
  • The ordinance does not preclude any landlord from limiting or prohibiting personal cultivation of marijuana by tenants.
  • The ordinance does not authorize commercial cultivation of marijuana.

Once again, the city is seeking community feedback through surveymonkey to help guide this work.  The survey asks whether Davis residents should be able to grow marijuana in their backyards and whether there should be dispensaries permitted in Davis.

Prop. 64 passed in Yolo County by a 60.5 to 39.5 margin.  In the city of Davis, Prop. 64 passed with 69 percent of the vote.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

Share:

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

3 thoughts on “City Still Figuring Out How to Implement Recreational Marijuana in Davis”

  1. Richard C

    The survey asks whether Davis residents should be able to grow marijuana in their backyards and whether there should be dispensaries permitted in Davis.

    It would be helpful to have some idea of how much tax revenue dispensaries would generate for the City.  There has been a lot of discussion about how much revenue new hotels would generate.  I’d like to see the same sort of discussion around marijuana dispensaries.

    1. David Greenwald

      There are questions as to how tax revenue could work with federal laws and now with the new administration, the federal government potentially taking an adversarial position.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for