Placer approves placeholder medical marijuana ordinance

Published on January 05, 2016

AUBURN, Calif. - No permits will be issued just yet. But regulation of medical marijuana sales and cultivation in Placer County moved forward today after the county board of supervisors voted to enact a placeholder ordinance asserting the county's authority to regulate them.

The board voted in December 2015 to move forward with regulating medical marijuana in unincorporated areas of the county and directed staff to develop comprehensive regulations for their consideration. The California Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act identifies a March 1 deadline for asserting local authority over medical marijuana regulation, otherwise the state assumes control.

Today's action only reserves the county's authority to regulate medical marijuana while county staff work to develop future regulations that will follow after a detailed public involvement process. It also affirms that the county's permitting process will mirror the state's and establishes the Agricultural Commissioner's Office as the lead county agency for medical marijuana regulation.

The county has identified a series of broad goals for staff to consider as it moves forward with developing the framework. Those goals include:

  • Promoting public health and safety
  • Reducing the size of the illicit market for cultivation and retail sale
  • Preventing non-medical access and use by youth
  • Reducing environmental harm to water, habitat and wildlife
  • Providing clear criteria for responsible businesses and patients who wish to operate within the law
  • Developing a fair system of regulation and taxation that supports public purposes
  • Providing flexibility and authority for modification or adoption of additional measures into the regulatory process to ensure effective implementation

The county will host a series of public meetings in the coming months and seek broad community input to help shape the future regulations.