Now what with marijuana laws

By Deb Murphy
Marijuana laws pass in state and county, now what …
You hire a consultant to help figure it all out. That’s what the Inyo County Board of Supervisors decided following a presentation by Planning Department staff at Tuesday’s meeting.
Associate Planner Michael Draper came armed with a Power Point illustrating what areas of the county approved California’s Proposition 64 legalizing adult recreational marijuana and Inyo’s advisory measures on either medical or recreational or both marijuana businesses.
Pro was appropriately blue, dominating the county map with splatters of red for the againsts. The easy part of the decision was to proceed, given the voting results on Advisory Measures G, medical businesses, and H, recreational businesses.
Logic says the county would simply fit community input, gathered during a series of neighborhood outreach meetings, into the state model of rules and regulations. But wait, the state doesn’t have those rules and regulations set in stone yet. According to an attorney/consultant who filled in some of the blanks, “much is still unknown; it’s still evolving.”
Hypothetically, California won’t have those rules and regulations, involving multiple agencies, until D-Day, January 1, 2018.
There are a few knowns: If a community wants to prohibit commercial operations it has to expressly exclude those businesses in zoning ordinances, rather than relying on simply not specifically allowing.
Another known: If a county or city has no ordinance excluding those businesses, the State can issue permits and collect excise taxes.
According to Draper, there are a number of ways to skin this cat: establishing zoning overlays where businesses are allowed and setting limits within those overlays, amending the zoning codes, requiring special or conditional use permits on a case by case basis or a combination of all of the above. The Board was advised to “proceed expeditiously.” The Supervisors agreed.
Administrative Officer Kevin Carunchio recommended hiring a consultant to help with the process. “We can do something before the end of this year,” he said. “We can start with a workshop, hold community and neighborhood meetings, start to narrow down concerns.”
He also recommended a registry of potential marijuana businesses to get an idea of the numbers of interested parties. Carunchio has already begun the process of contacting consultants given the fact marijuana regulation consultants have become extremely busy.

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6 Responses to Now what with marijuana laws

  1. Bob December 13, 2016 at 9:21 am #

    The people of California have spoken. Any elected official that supports a moratorium should be voted out of office.

  2. Pedro December 11, 2016 at 9:12 pm #

    Why is Pro appropriately blue?

  3. chuckle December 9, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

    Concerned, Let the meetings begin! LOL. Seems like that is all any of these people manage to accomplish is meetings and some more meetings and then a meeting to discuss the meeting.

  4. Concerned December 9, 2016 at 9:13 am #

    Correction…All (commercial) medical and recreational cannabis activities….

  5. Concerned December 9, 2016 at 8:02 am #

    And now Mono County is proposing enact a temporary moratorium on ALL medical and recreational cannabis activities in unincorporated Mono County. It is in the agenda for next week’s meeting. This leads me to believe Scott Burns, the Mono County Community Development Director would prefer the cannabis products be derived from grows either within the Town of Mammoth Lakes (which are within a few miles of the schools) or imported from other counties (who then use the proceeds in their respective county.) Or does indecision just shirk responsibility for making a decision? This type of inaction does not make any sense to me. I wonder if the county staff and supervisors will form a cannabis committee to make these decisions for them so they can escape accountability for new policies? Let the meetings begin!

  6. Trouble December 9, 2016 at 4:27 am #

    I think our elected officials need to stop creating more problems and allow the pot smokers to live their lives like they choose to. The laws have changed , get over it.


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