City staff studies recreational marijuana

Marijuana. Katharine Lotze/Signal

The city of Santa Clarita is conducting research to get a better idea of how to approach adult use recreational marijuana, following the passing of California’s Proposition 64.

Currently, the city has a moratorium to prohibit most recreational marijuana activities through the end of the year, and does not allow medical marijuana stores. However, individuals can cultivate up to six marijuana plants in their homes under the law.

In order to decide how to move forward, the city council tasked city staff to research how other areas are handling the topic.

“We asked the staff to come back at the end of the year with a report on what other cities are doing,” Mayor Cameron Smyth said in an interview with The Signal. “During that time, the council needs to make a decision on how we choose to proceed.”

Dave Peterson, associate planner with the city’s planning division, has been spearheading this effort. The planner said he and his team are looking at both Northern and Southern California cities to garner information.

“We’re in the middle of the research phase,” Peterson said. “We’re in the process of contacting other cities right now.”

The goal is to see where other cities are in terms of recreational pot use and learn what actions they have taken, if any.

Though the subject is different, the process of research is routine, he said.

“Any time there is a broader issue like this issue is, the city looks to other cities to see what other folks are doing,” Peterson said. “We’re obviously coming up with our own research and our own plans based on our own stuff, but it’s very common for cities to outreach to other cities to see what they’re doing.”

Taking into consideration land use, Peterson is also looking at the logistics of regulating, selling and cultivating marijuana.

“If the city council decides to move forward with that, [we would see] how those things would be regulated from a land use perspective,” he said. “We’re looking at it from as broad a perspective as we possibly can.”

Peterson anticipates staff will be prepared to share their findings with the council in the fall.

A committee will not be formed regarding Prop 64, Peterson said.

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