Proposition 64, the recreational marijuana law that was approved by California voters last year, takes effect Jan. 1. The looming deadline is making local civic leaders take steps now to comply with the law, while limiting its impact on Los Gatos and Monte Sereno. Both municipalities already have marijuana regulations on the books.
In Los Gatos, a previously approved ordinance prohibits medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation, processing and delivery of medical marijuana. The new ordinance that was tentatively approved by the Los Gatos Town Council on Oct. 17 deals with commercial marijuana operations.
“Prop. 64 allows the town to prohibit marijuana businesses,” town attorney Rob Schultz said. “The proposed ordinance will prohibit all commercial marijuana activities in town. Additionally, the ordinance would prohibit the outdoor cultivation of marijuana that is not within a fully enclosed and secure structure.”[related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-section” curated_ids=””]That means Los Gatos residents will be permitted to cultivate up to six plants inside their private residences or inside a fully enclosed (and locked) accessory unit, Schultz said, as per the incoming state law.
In keeping with the measure, municipalities cannot prohibit indoor marijuana cultivation of up to six plants for personal use, but they can prohibit deliveries of marijuana for recreational use, so the proposed Los Gatos ordinance includes that prohibition.
“It’s one of the most difficult points of this ordinance to enforce,” Schultz said. “We do know they are occurring, but there’s no way we can know where they’re coming in, and if we do stop them they’re allowed under California law to possess a certain amount, so it is very difficult.”
The new Los Gatos ordinance, which is expected to receive final approval on Nov. 7, is based on a League of California Cities model ordinance.
The story is a little different in Monte Sereno, which previously prohibited medical marijuana dispensaries and the cultivation, processing and distribution of medical and recreational marijuana. The city does allow medical marijuana to be delivered to residents from dispensaries outside the city limits.
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But Monte Sereno’s proposed new ordinance—tentatively approved Oct. 17—prohibits non-medical marijuana deliveries.
“Commercial cannabis activities of all types are expressly prohibited in all zoning districts in the city of Monte Sereno,” the new ordinance says.
Monte Sereno’s decision also specifies that only six plants per property can be grown. In other words, you could not grow six plants inside your home and another six in a locked greenhouse or granny unit that’s on the same property.
“All we’re dealing with is personal cultivation or cultivation by a primary caregiver for medical marijuana,” Monte Sereno city attorney Kirsten Powell said. “We allow both under this ordinance.”
Since Monte Sereno prohibits all marijuana businesses, it didn’t have to prohibit retail marijuana sales in the city.
The Monte Sereno City Council is expected to formally approve the proposed ordinance Nov. 7.
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