Cities across California have Dec. 31 deadlines to decide how they will deal with commercial cannabis before Proposition 64-authorized legalization kicks in next year.

As of Jan. 1, the state will begin issuing permits for many activities related to medical and recreational marijuana, including cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and sale. Cities must make a decision before the end of the year on how they will regulate it within their jurisdictions.

The Bakersfield City Council and the Kern County Board of Supervisors voted in October to ban all commercial cannabis activity, but what about the rest of the towns across the county?

[related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-section” curated_ids=””]Here’s a breakdown of how they have ruled on cannabis.


Arvin is one of the only cities in Kern County to allow commercial cannabis cultivation. The City Council passed an ordinance on Nov. 21 allowing for indoor cultivation of marijuana, with operations allowed to have a “grow” of up to 1.3 million square feet.

The city’s ordinance doesn’t allow the sale of marijuana in the city limits, however. Any cannabis produced in the city will have to be taken elsewhere for sale.

There are also restrictions on where the operations can be located and who can work at them.

California City

California City was the first in Kern County to allow any kind of marijuana cultivation, approving an ordinance in fall 2016 that allows medical marijuana cultivation. The Mojave Desert city has not passed anything allowing recreational cannabis cultivation in the city.

Medical marijuana businesses can’t locate near schools or other sensitive areas.

The 2016 ordinance didn’t include an allowance for cultivation of recreational marijuana nor distribution of it in the city. The City Council hasn’t voted on any ordinances in 2017 to change that.


The Delano City Council unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance prohibiting all commercial activity in the city at its Dec. 4 meeting. The ordinance will likely be up for a second reading and final approval at the Dec. 18 City Council meeting, according to city staff.


The McFarland City Council approved an ordinance at its Nov. 9 meeting prohibiting all commercial cannabis activity in town.


The Ridgecrest City Council approved an ordinance at its Nov. 15 meeting that bans all commercial pot activity except for medical facilities, which will be allowed to dispense medical cannabis to patients.


The Shafter City Council adopted an ordinance banning all commercial cannabis activity at its Oct. 18, 2016, meeting. Although Prop. 64 hadn’t yet passed, the city said it was confident it would be approved and wanted to make sure the city had an ordinance banning commercial activity already in place. The council hasn’t voted on any new cannabis-related ordinances this year.


The Taft City Council approved an ordinance prohibiting all commercial marijuana activity at its Nov. 21 meeting. The council was presented with two ordinances, one that would regulate commercial cannabis and another that would ban it. The council chose the latter. However, they also approved a motion to revisit the ordinance in January, giving them an opportunity to overturn the ban if desired.


The Tehachapi City Council approved a first reading of an ordinance banning all commercial cannabis activity at its Dec. 4 meeting. The council had been considering an option to ban all activity except for mobile deliveries, but the council decided not to pursue that approach.

If the council had gone in that direction, the city would then give licenses out to businesses that would bring cannabis products to Tehachapi residents.

The council is set to have a final vote on the ordinance at its Dec. 18 meeting.


The Wasco City Council approved an ordinance prohibiting all commercial cannabis activity at its Dec. 5 meeting.

Unincorporated communities such as Lamont, Oildale and Rosamond are subject to the Kern County Supervisors’ decision banning all activity — for now.

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