Southern California

Costa Mesa council to discuss further extension of city marijuana regulations

Costa Mesa City Council members will consider extending an ordinance meant to maintain local marijuana rules to allow additional time for staff to analyze the local impacts of new state regulations that go into effect in January.

If approved Tuesday, the one-year extension sought by city staff would be the final allowed for the urgency ordinance.

The ordinance — originally passed Jan. 3 and extended Feb. 7, both times with no discussion by the council — will expire on Dec. 22 without further action.

Keeping the ordinance in place for another year would allow Costa Mesa to continue prohibiting marijuana-related uses to the extent possible under state law.

“These temporary restrictions will provide time for the city to study these issues and for the City Council to enact long-term policies and regulations,” states a staff report included in the council agenda.

An extension would also give city staff more time to prepare for state regulations being implemented following legalization of marijuana’s recreational use under Proposition 64.

The measure — approved by voters statewide in November 2016 — authorizes people 21 and older to legally possess, use and grow marijuana for recreational purposes, with certain restrictions.

The urgency ordinance does not affect Costa Mesa’s Measure X, a voter-approved initiative that allows businesses that research, test, process and manufacture some medical marijuana products to open in the area north of South Coast Drive, west of Harbor Boulevard, south of MacArthur Boulevard and east of the Santa Ana River, though not in South Coast Collection.

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Retail sales of marijuana and marijuana products are still prohibited in the city.

Extending the urgency ordinance would mean “only limited marijuana cultivation, as allowed under state law, and marijuana-related businesses allowed under Measure X, will be permitted” in Costa Mesa, according to the staff report.

Businesses looking to open under the measure have to obtain a business license, a medical marijuana business permit and a conditional use permit, which requires approval from the city Planning Commission.

As of Nov. 1, two conditional use permit applications have been filed, according to a staff report. Neither of them has gone to the commission for review as of yet.

Tuesday’s council meeting starts at 6 p.m. in City Hall, 77 Fair Drive.

© 2017 the Daily Pilot (Costa Mesa, Calif.). Visit the Daily Pilot at www.dailypilot.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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