City of Arcata
Regulations for Marijuana Related Commercial Activity
Arcata (Hupa: do’-khah-oon-tetl ding’, meaning “big flat place”), originally Union Town or Union, is a city adjacent to the Arcata Bay (northern) portion of Humboldt Bay in Humboldt County, California, United States. At the 2010 census, Arcata’s population was 17,231. Arcata, located 280 miles (450 km) north of San Francisco (via Highway 101), is home to Humboldt State University. Arcata is also the location of the Arcata Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Land Management, which is responsible for the administration of natural resources, lands and mineral programs, including the Headwaters Forest, on approximately 200,000 acres of public land in Northwestern California.
Sec. 5952 Arcata Municipal Code
Commercial Cannabis Activity Permit and Other Required Licenses.
A. Permit Required. It is unlawful to engage in commercial cannabis activity in the City of Arcata without first obtaining a commercial cannabis activity permit from the City Manager or his/her designee in accordance with this Chapter. Any violation of the terms or conditions of a commercial cannabis activity permit shall be deemed a violation of this Chapter. Obtaining a commercial cannabis activity permit does not relieve a commercial cannabis activity business owner of its obligation to comply with all applicable local, State and Federal laws, policies and regulations. Commercial cannabis activity permits may be issued for use only at property zoned for commercial cannabis activity under the City’s Land Use Code.
B. State License. After January 1, 2018, or such time when State implementing regulations are in effect for the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, whichever is earlier, it shall be unlawful to operate any business or conduct any activity in the City of Arcata for which a State license is required under the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act without also having a valid State license pursuant to the Act. Prior to implementation of the State license program pursuant to Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, all commercial cannabis activity permitted by the City shall be conducted in accordance with this Chapter, the City’s Land Use Code, and all laws pertaining to the equivalent license classification under the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act.
C. Permit Regulations. The City Manager shall develop regulations pertaining to the issuance, compliance monitoring, renewal, and enforcement of commercial cannabis activity permits, which shall be subject to promulgation by resolution of the City Council. Such regulations may provide for energy efficiency, odor control, and inventory tracking, and such other matters as deemed necessary to promote the public health, safety and welfare of the City.
D. Preexisting Commercial Cannabis Activity. Any person who is lawfully engaged in commercial cannabis activity as permitted by the City of Arcata Land Use Code Section 9.42.105 prior to July 1, 2015, may continue such activity if, within six (6) months after the adoption of the ordinance codified in this Chapter, such person has submitted an application for a commercial cannabis activity permit under this Chapter. If an application is submitted according to this Chapter, such preexisting commercial cannabis activity may continue until such time as the permit application is denied, expires, or is revoked.
E. Effect of Commercial Cannabis Activity Permit. No person shall have any entitlement or vested right to receive a permit under this Chapter. The permit requirements in this Chapter shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, licensing or permitting requirements imposed by any other Federal, State, or local law. The City’s permit issued under this Chapter does not provide any exception, defense, or immunity to any person in regard to potential criminal liability the person may have for the production, distribution, or possession of marijuana. All commercial cannabis activity business owners shall be held jointly and severally responsible to comply with all permit conditions, and shall be held jointly and severally liable for any permit violations, regardless of which owners sign the permit.
F. Other Permits and Licenses Required. In addition to a commercial cannabis activity permit as required by this Chapter, it is unlawful to establish or otherwise engage in commercial cannabis activity without a current and valid business license issued pursuant to Title VI, and, where applicable, a land use permit issued pursuant to the City’s Land Use Code. Any violation of the terms or conditions of any other required City permit or license shall be deemed a violation of this Chapter. (Ord. 1472, eff. 4/1/2016)
9.28.130 Medical Marijuana Innovation Zone (:MMIZ) Combining Zone
A. Purpose. The :MMIZ combining zone is applied to all sites and areas identified in Figure 2-25. The intent of the :MMIZ is to establish an area where niche manufacturing businesses that produce medical marijuana related products such as edibles, oils, tincture sprays, lotions and a variety of other products can be safely produced. Medical marijuana cultivation, processing, and warehousing are also allowed. Research, testing, and new medical marijuana product development is strongly encouraged. Since the closure of the former Humboldt Flakeboard plant, Assessor Parcel Numbers (APNs) 507-081-043, 507-121-013, and 507-081-050 have rapidly deteriorated into a state of blight. The establishment of the :MMIZ combining zone on those parcels will assist with the removal of blight from the properties. The :MMIZ combining zone establishes special standards to address the unique legal, social, security, enforcement, and environmental concerns that have been well documented to be associated with medical marijuana while maintaining compatibility with the other uses that either currently exist or are likely to exist in the area immediately around the :MMIZ.
B. Applicability. The :MMIZ combining zone is comprised of Areas 1 and 2 as shown in Figure 2-25, and applies only to those parcels specifically identified in Figure 2-25. Additions or deletions from the :MMIZ require an amendment to Figure 2-25.
C. Permit Requirements. A zoning clearance is required for Area 1 and a conditional use permit is required for Area 2. The total number of conditional use permits for Area 2 shall be limited to four. A nonplanning local permit or local license issued by the City of Arcata is also required.
D. Land Use and Development Standards. Proposed development and new land uses within the :MMIZ combining zone shall comply with the requirements of the primary zoning district, and all other applicable provisions of this Land Use Code, except that each parcel within the :MMIZ:
1. Shall be limited to cultivating medical marijuana on no more than 25 percent of the total building floor area per parcel without a conditional use permit. For the purposes of this section, the term “cultivation” includes all growing processes from seed to cutting. Cultivation does not include the area where drying or storing of harvested plant or plant material occurs.
2. Shall not have an area utilized for cultivation that is greater 4,000 square feet per lease/business without a conditional use permit.
3. Shall have at least one 600 square foot or greater in size commercial food grade manufacturing area, laboratory, or other comparable improved space that meets state requirements ready for occupancy, prior to receiving a final building permit for cultivation on a parcel. This requirement shall not apply if no cultivation is taking place on the parcel.
4. No residential uses shall be allowed with the exception of one caretaker unit which is intended for security purposes.
The minimum lot area on APNs 507-081-043, 507-121-013, and 507-081-050 may be reduced to 10,000 square feet through the Land Use Code Subdivision Regulations and Procedures.
Please refer to “9.28.130 Medical Marijuana Innovation Zone (:MMIZ) Combining Zone” in the city description above and the “Retail” section below.
Please refer to “9.28.130 Medical Marijuana Innovation Zone (:MMIZ) Combining Zone” in the city description above and the “Retail” section below.
E. Permit requirements for Medical Marijuana Cooperatives or Collectives. Medical marijuana cooperatives or collectives may be established only in those zoning districts listed in Table 2-10, “Allowable Land Uses and Permit Requirements for Commercial, Industrial, and Public Facility Zoning Districts.” Medical marijuana cooperatives or collectives shall only be allowed with an approved Use Permit in conformance with Section 9.72.080 (Use Permit and Minor Use Permit). The fact that an applicant possesses other types of state or City permits or licenses does not exempt the applicant from the requirement of obtaining a Use Permit to operate a medical marijuana cooperative or collective. A medical marijuana cooperative or collective shall consist of a business form that satisfies state law to act cooperatively or collectively in the acquisition and distribution of medical marijuana. Notwithstanding the provisions of Chapter 9 (Nonconforming Uses, Structures, and Parcels), an existing cooperative or collective in operation as of the effective date of this ordinance shall be brought into full compliance with the provisions of this section within one year of the effective date of the ordinance establishing this section.
1. Specific Regulations. The following specific regulations apply to medical marijuana cooperatives or collectives.
a. The total number of medical marijuana cooperatives or collectives within the City of Arcata shall be limited to four (4) until which time one (1) or two (2) of the four (4) cooperatives or collectives ceases to operate, then the total number shall be reduced to three (3) and ultimately two (2).
b. In addition to Section 9.72.080 F (Use Permit Findings and decision), the review authority should give special consideration to approving cooperatives or collectives located: within a 300 foot radius from any existing residential zoning district, within 500 feet of any other medical marijuana cooperative or collective as defined in the glossary which is located either inside or outside the jurisdiction of the City, or within 500 feet from any existing public park, playground, day care, or school.
c. Source of medical marijuana. A medical marijuana cooperative or collective shall only dispense marijuana from the following sources:
(1) Permitted Cooperative or Collective. If the Use Permit authorizes limited, on-site medical marijuana cultivation at the cooperative or collective, a permitted medical marijuana cooperatives’ or collectives’ on-site cultivation shall not exceed twenty-five (25) percent of the cooperatives’ or collectives’ total floor area, but in no case greater than 1,500 square feet and not exceed ten feet (10’) in height.
(2) Off-site Permitted Cultivation. The cooperative or collective cultivates medical marijuana in an off-site location in accordance with applicable zoning regulations from the jurisdiction in which it is located. Zoning compliance documentation from the applicable jurisdiction shall accompany the Use Permit application and be updated annually.
(3) Qualified Patients. In the case of a medical marijuana cooperative or collective, the medical marijuana is acquired from an individual qualified patient who cultivated the medical marijuana in accordance with the standards in Section 9.42.105.D., the qualified patient received no monetary remittance, and the qualified patient is a member of the medical marijuana cooperative or collective. Pursuant to California Health and Safety Code §11362.765 (c) a collective or cooperative my credit its members for medical marijuana provided to the collective or cooperative, which they may allocate to other members.
d. Notwithstanding Section 9.72.080 (Use Permit and Minor Use Permit) a medical marijuana cooperative or collective application for a Use Permit shall include a detailed Operations Manual including but not necessarily limited to the following information:
(1) Authorization for the City, its agents and employees, to seek verification of the information contained within the application;
(2) A description of the staff screening process including appropriate background checks;
(3) The hours and days of the week the medical marijuana cooperative or collective will be open;
(4) Text and graphic materials showing the site, floor plan and facilities of the medical marijuana cooperative or collective. The material shall also show adjacent structures and land uses;
(5) A description of the security measures located on the premises, including but not limited to, lighting, alarms, and automatic law enforcement notification;
(6) A description of the screening, registration and validation process for qualified patients;
(7) A description of qualified patient records acquisition and retention procedures;
(8) The process for tracking medical marijuana quantities and inventory controls including on-site cultivation, processing, and/or medical marijuana products received from outside sources;
(9) Description of measures taken to minimize or offset energy use from the cultivation or processing of medical marijuana;
(10) Description of chemicals stored, used and any effluent discharged into the City’s wastewater and/or stormwater system; and
(11) Other information required by the Community Development Director.
2. Operating Standards. Medical marijuana cooperatives or collectives shall comply with all of the following operating standards.
a. No dispensing medical marijuana to an individual qualified patient or primary caregiver more than twice a day;
b. Medical marijuana cooperatives or collectives shall only dispense medical marijuana to an individual qualified patient who has a valid, verified physician’s recommendation. The medical marijuana cooperative or collective shall verify that the physician’s recommendation is current and valid;
c. Medical cooperatives or collectives shall display the client rules and/or regulations in a conspicuous place that is readily seen by all persons entering the cooperative or collective. The client rules and/or regulations shall include, but not limited to:
(1) Each building entrance to a medical marijuana cooperative or collective shall be clearly and legibly posted with a notice indicating that smoking, ingesting or consuming medical marijuana on the premises or in the vicinity of the cooperative or collective is prohibited unless specifically authorized with the Use Permit.
(2) The building entrance to a medical marijuana cooperative or collective shall be clearly and legibly posted with a notice indicating that persons under the age of eighteen (18) are precluded from entering the premises unless they are qualified patients and/or they are under the supervision of their parent or legal guardian.
d. The hours of operation for an approved medical marijuana cooperative or collective shall be limited to between 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. or as specified within the Use Permit.
e. Medical marijuana cooperatives or collectives shall not permit the use of medical marijuana on-site unless specifically authorized under the Use Permit.
f. Medical marijuana cooperatives or collectives shall not permit the on-site display of marijuana plants except for approved signs according to Chapter 9.38 (Signs);
g. Medical marijuana cooperatives or collectives shall only permit the distribution of live plants, starts and clones as allowed by the approved Use Permit. Such distribution shall be limited to qualified patients or primary caregiver;
h. Medical marijuana cooperatives or collectives shall only permit the on-site display or sale of marijuana paraphernalia used for the consumption of medical marijuana as allowed by the approved Use Permit;
i. Medical marijuana cooperatives or collectives shall comply with other conditions as outlined in the Use Permit;
j. Medical marijuana cooperatives or collectives shall maintain all necessary permits, and pay all appropriate taxes. Medical marijuana cooperatives or collectives shall also provide invoices to vendors to ensure vendor’s tax liability responsibility;
k. Medical marijuana cooperatives or collectives shall implement procedures as outlined in their approved Operations Manual;
l. Medical marijuana cooperatives or collectives shall submit an “Annual Performance Review Report” for review and approval by the Community Development Director. The “Annual Performance Review Report” is intended to identify effectiveness of the approved Use Permit, Operations Manual, and Conditions of Approval, as well as the identification and implementation of additional procedures as deemed necessary. The Community Development Director may review and approve amendments to the approved “Operations Manual”; and the frequency of the “Annual Performance Review Report”. Medical marijuana cultivation and dispensing monitoring review fees pursuant to the current Planning and Zoning Fee Resolution shall accompany the “Annual Performance Review Report” for costs associated with the review and approval of the report.
3. Permit Revocation or Modification. A use permit may be revoked or modified according to Section 9.96.070 (Permit Revocation or Modification). Use Permit revocation proceedings may occur for noncompliance with one or more of the items 2.a. through l. above.
4. Transfer of Use Permit. The rights of an approved Use Permit to operate a medical marijuana cooperative or collective may be transferred to another cooperative or collective as a Use Permit modification according to Section 9.96.070 (Permit Revocation or Modification). (Ord. 1468, eff. 4/1/2016)
Sec. 5953 Deliveries.
No person or entity may engage in any delivery activity within the City of Arcata except those persons or entities that receive a delivery permit from the City for such activity. No other person or entity may deliver or cause the delivery of cannabis within the City. (Ord. 1472, eff. 4/1/2016)
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