The Redlands City Council will soon consider banning commercial marijuana activity, a move already supported by the Planning Commission.
The commission has recommended the council approve an ordinance banning marijuana businesses, delivery and cultivation in the city due to ambiguities in the state’s licensing requirements.[related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-section” curated_ids=””]The ordinance, however, would permit personal use and indoor marijuana cultivation, in accordance with state law.
If approved by the council, the commercial ban would be in place by Jan. 1, when the state plans to start issuing licenses for retail marijuana sales.
“I think there’s far too much up in the air yet to change the city of Redlands’ regulation at this time,” said Commissioner Steven Frasher.
Frasher said because the state hasn’t yet codified how it wants to regulate recreational marijuana and the U.S. Department of Justice has pledged to take a more aggressive approach on marijuana issues, too much is in flux to change the city’s laws.
Commissioner Julie Rock agreed, but asked that city staff evaluate how the city’s ban on medical marijuana activity is impacting residents.
By prohibiting commercial marijuana activity, the city would have time to observe how the state or other cities resolve problems during implementation, according to the staff report.
The City Council could then revise its ordinance after clearer or less stringent regulations are determined to be appropriate and effective, the report says.
In November, voters legalized recreational marijuana use and sales in California.
It is legal for a person to possess about one ounce of marijuana for personal use, but retail sales are not allowed until the state starts issuing licenses in January.
Individuals can also grow up to six marijuana plants in their home for personal use.
Ryan Bacchas, interim CEO of the California Cannabis Coalition, offered to help the city navigate the state and federal marijuana laws.
“I want you to look especially at the promise that it can bring as far as eliminating the black market,” Bacchas said to the commissioners. “By not having any market you are allowing the black market to resurge and even make more money than a legitimate market would and that’s a detriment to the public health and safety of the community.”
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