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Placer Supervisors look to allow limited outdoor and indoor cultivation of medical cannabis

November 08, 2016

Limited outdoor cultivation of medical cannabis for personal use may also be allowed in an anticipated Placer County ordinance following a discussion of next steps for cannabis regulation at the county board of supervisors meeting today.

Following months of extensive public engagement, the board in June directed county staff to develop an ordinance that would limit cultivation to indoors. But board members today expressed concerns about the unintended consequences of forcing all cultivation indoors, as well as the prohibitive cost of indoor cultivation for some lower-income patients.

County staff presented a draft ordinance based on the board’s previous guidance, prompting a discussion of whether its proposed regulation and enforcement protocols reflected the board’s wishes. While the board did not take formal action on the ordinance today, it provided staff with clarification and guidance for how to proceed in drafting a final version for their consideration.

The board favored a two-tiered approach for moving forward, beginning immediately with steps to address nuisance cultivation as quickly as possible, while allowing for a thorough public review process of the new ordinance, especially regarding an allowance for outdoor cultivation. Board members remained concerned about the effects of outdoor cultivation in residential areas and directed staff to take an especially close look at what measures could be taken to limit impacts to neighbors and access by youth if it were allowed.

“We’re a diverse county, and we’re evolving into a type of ordinance that works for everyone,” said District 3 Supervisor Jim Holmes. “It’s going to take time. It might be messy, but being as conservative a county as we are, we’ll be careful about moving forward.”

County staff will continue to refine the draft ordinance in collaboration with local stakeholders, and will return to the board for review of an updated draft before beginning the process of developing the requirements for outdoor cultivation.

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