Earlier in the year, the Oxnard City Council indicated that when it comes to relaxing marijuana guidelines, the city should go slow.
On Tuesday, the council will try to define exactly what going slow means as it joins other cities across the state in crafting local rules on marijuana. During an afternoon meeting, the council will consider whether to allow deliveries of medical marijuana and continue its ban on dispensaries.[related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-section” curated_ids=””]“The cautious approach is better,” said Police Chief Scott Whitney. “There’s no need to rush into it.”
Whitney said cities in Colorado and Washington are still learning best practices following marijuana legalization.
Last year, California voters passed Proposition 64 to legalize recreational marijuana and allow personal cultivation of up to six plants per household for those 21 and older. The initiative gives the city leeway to craft its own ordinance to ban or regulate various aspects of the marijuana business.
“Local jurisdictions have the authority to decide what to permit or not to permit, aside from the cultivation of six plants,” said Jefferson Billingsley, assistant city attorney for Oxnard.
Read more: Oxnard wants go-slow approach on marijuana
Licenses to operate marijuana businesses are expected to be issued by the state starting in January. Cities are now trying to craft and clarify local ordinances ahead of January.
The city attorney’s office is recommending the city permit the delivery of medicinal marijuana and continue prohibiting dispensaries, outdoor cultivation and delivery of recreational marijuana.
Following Tuesday’s discussion, an ordinance will be drafted for council consideration in the fall, Billingsley said. If the council agrees to the proposal, it can still decide to relax the prohibitions later next year.
Whitney said there are potential problems with medical marijuana deliveries but they can be minimized.
“Any time you have a business activity, you’re going to have a potential problem,” Whitney said. “Like a pizza delivery man, they get robbed every now and then.”
Limiting the advertising on delivery vehicles and restricting deliveries during certain hours are some measures the city could consider.
When it comes to retail operations, Whitney said a host of problems could crop up such as increases in public pot consumption, the homeless population, loitering and other nuisance issues.
“For me, one of the biggest issues is quality of life,” Whitney said. “Is it going to work for Oxnard? Do we have appropriate places where one of the commercial activities would work? There needs to be an analysis.”
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