Several months after Californians approved a law making the state the largest one so far to legalize recreational marijuana cultivation and sales, a few Ventura County cities have taken steps to regulate it to various degrees.
Prop. 64 allows adults to buy and carry up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use — individuals can raise up to six plants — and legalizes commercial growth; business licenses won’t be available until 2018.
But county boards and city halls currently regulate personal and commercial — that is, medicinal — growth and use.
Camarillo officials slammed the door on most uses, passing an interim ordinance banning commercial growth and strictly limiting recreational use to the absolute minimum allowed.
The ordinance pointedly specifies growing for personal use requires permission from property owners, following building codes and forbids use of gas or butane to grow. It bars outdoor growth.
Several months ago Fillmore officials passed a similar ordinance requiring permits for recreational growth. It bans outdoor growing, requiring plants to be in a locked and secure structure, with inspection by city staff to get a permit. Fillmore voters in 2016, however, passed ordinances on how it would be taxed.
Fillmore City Manager David Rowlands said a public hearing on medical marijuana use is scheduled for June 25 to find out what residents think of allowing commercial growth for medical purposes.
Thousand Oaks officials will discuss drafting a marijuana ordinance at the June 27 meeting. Besides hiring a consulting firm to help write the law, the city recently took a poll of residents to gauge their support of local regulation.
Most of the 567 residents who responded said they would support having medical marijuana dispensaries in city limits and home delivery to patients, but weren’t as enthusiastic about allowing the same for recreational use.
“They had a study session back in the spring and listened to residents’ thoughts,” City Manager Andrew Powers said. “They’ve made no decisions; they’re just listening to public input for now.”
In contrast to other local communities, Port Hueneme officials are embracing potential revenue from commercial growth of medicinal marijuana. Recreational marijuana will be considered next year as Prop 64 goes into full effect.
At the May 22 meeting, Port Hueneme City Council approved, 4-1, with City Councilwoman Sylvia Muñoz-Schnopp voting against it, the first reading of an ordinance to move forward with allowing the cultivation and sales of medicinal marijuana; on June 5, the City Council approved the second reading, with Muñoz-Schnopp voting against it, and City Councilman Jonathan Sharkey was absent.
“We anticipate it will be approved and will allow several different types of commercial growth,” said City Manager Rod Butler.
“We expect to have two medical dispensaries and I think we’ll have interest in other ones,” as well as medical marijuana research businesses, Butler said.
Butler noted passage of the ordinance follows a total of seven public hearings and workshops on the subject were resoundingly supportive of allowing commercial growth.
“As weird as it sounds, I can’t think of a single person who has come to speak against this,” Butler said.
A public informational workshop on the ordinance allowing commercial sale/cultivation of medicinal marijuana in Port Hueneme will take place on Monday, June 12, at 5:30 p.m. The location is the Oceanview Pavilion on 575 S. Surfside Drive.