City Council OKs prohibiting commercial land uses associated with cannabis

Marijuana. Katharine Lotze/Signal

Santa Clarita City Council passed a second reading of an ordinance prohibiting commercial land uses associated with cannabis and regulating home cultivation through its consent calendar on Tuesday. The ordinance will go into effect starting next month.

The ordinance is in response to the statewide Proposition 64, also known as the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative. The proposition, which legalized cannabis in 2016, began issuing licenses to businesses dispensing cannabis Jan. 2 of this year. But the licenses would only be issued by the state if local jurisdictions allowed them.

The City Council passed a temporary moratorium on commercial cannabis-related land uses in January 2017, and then again in November 2017 until December 2018.

The Planning Commission recommended in February amendments to municipal code, according to a March 27 presentation by David Peterson, associate planner with the city’s Planning Division.

The proposition allows Californians to grow up to six cannabis plants for recreational use in their private residences, while the ordinance establishes standards for home cultivation, such as prohibiting growth in spaces like backyards and balconies. Residents are also currently allowed to recreationally smoke within a private, enclosed and secured residence. No permits will be required to grow plants in secure and enclosed spaces, unless structural changes or electrical upgrades to accommodate home growth are required, Peterson said.

Currently, any illegal uses of marijuana are subject to enforcement by the city’s Community Preservation Division, which is generally complaint-driven, as well as the Sheriff’s Department, Peterson said in a previous interview with the Signal.

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