- Posted by Erica Treeby
- On April 27, 2017
- breaking, California, Cannabis License, Cannabis Permit, commercial cultivation, commercial medical cannabis, dispensaries, licensing, MCRSA, regulations, retail, zoning
The City of Ukiah is the county seat and the largest city in Mendocino County–one of three counties that make up California’s famed Emerald Triangle. Although Ukiah has had medical Cannabis laws on its books for nearly twenty years, the city’s progression toward allowing commercial medical Cannabis businesses has moved at a slower pace than one might expect for such a marijuana-tolerant locality.
In 2007, the City Council adopted a series of ordinances to define what medical Cannabis activities were allowable within the city limits.
- Personal Medical Cultivation Allowed: Ukiah’s cultivation ordinance, which remains in place today, allows medical Cannabis patients to cultivate no more than 24 immature plants, which then must be winnowed down once sexing is possible to no more than 12 mature marijuana plants per parcel. The plants must either be grown indoors, or within an approved and enclosed outside structure. Ukiah City Code section 9254.
- Commercial Cultivation Banned: Cultivation of medical Cannabis in excess of the 24 immature/12 mature plant limit is prohibited. Ukiah City Code section 6093. An exception is made for cultivation by a permitted dispensary (see below).
Enacted in 2007, Ukiah City Code section 5702, placed a complete ban on the operation of medical Cannabis dispensaries within the city.
Fast forward ten years: In late-January 2017, the City Council voted to move forward with an ordinance allowing medical cannabis dispensaries. At a meeting on February 15, 2017, the City Council approved Ordinance No. 1176, entitled Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, which became effective on March 15th.
The new law, which is codified at section 5700 et seq of the City Code, provides for a Dispensary Use Permit process and creates standards for dispensaries operating within the city.
The regulations also set forth specific zoning requirements, including:
- Dispensaries may only be located within the C1, C2, CN, M, and PD (Commercial) zoning districts and in the GU, UC, and DC downtown zoning districts;
- Dispensaries may not be within 600 feet of a school; within 250 feet of a youth-oriented facility; or on a residentially-zoned parcel.
Indoor cultivation is permitted on-site, and may not exceed 25 percent of the total floor area or 500 square feet, which ever is smaller.
Because both the Medical Cannabis Regulation & Safety Act (“MCRSA”) and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) give counties and cities the authority to permit, partially ban, or expressly ban medical Cannabis activities within their borders, its crucial to keep abreast of the latest developments in local law. We invite you to contact CannaBusinessLaw for expert assistance with Cannabis licensing, permitting, and compliance relating to commercial Cannabis in California.