By Robert J. Hansen
Sacramento– Sacramento County Principal Planner Chris Pahule will be putting forward what is essentially a “consistency package” tomorrow night to the Planning Committee, continuing the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors previous directional policies of prohibiting marijuana cultivation in Sacramento County.
“With the passage of Prop. 64 there are some tweaks that need to be made to the zoning code and the county code,” Pahule said in a phone interview.
While Pahule could not comment on the City Council’s recent decision allowing marijuana business within city limits, he thinks it could cause some confusion for residents who may be uncertain as to which laws affect them.
“We just need to make sure that people will understand what rules apply to them depending on where they live,” Pahule said.
Sacramento City plans to begins accepting permit applications sometime April.
The cities of Folsom, Citrus Heights and Rancho Cordova are not affected by county ordinances although, they won’t differ much as all three prohibit outdoor cultivation while each has their own laws for indoor growing
Currently, there is no estimate of potential tax revenue for Sacramento County. However, based on a Colorado Department of Public Safety report that found tax revenue from marijuana in fiscal year 2015 totaled $14.2 billion dollars and make up about 0.95% of all tax revenue collected in the state, Sacramento County share would have significant impact.
California took its first steps towards marijuana reform in 1996 by exempting medical patients and caregivers from laws that prohibited marijuana use or possession. Since then, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors began maintaining policies that prohibited medical dispensaries in the county.
The county shut down 63 illegal marijuana dispensaries from July through October of 2011, through use of injunctive relief fillings and increasing administrative penalties.That prompted the county to take a firm stance against marijuana cultivation.
“After completing a series of public meetings in pursuit of a regulatory ordinance, I will be recommending to the Board of Supervisors that we discontinue pursuing any kind of regulatory permitting plan, and maintain the status quo of keeping them illegal,” said then County Executive Brad Hudson
The Planning Commission’s agenda is now online for the public which includes a brief outline and description of the proposed ordinance.
The request states that, “the AUMA explicitly designates nonmedical marijuana as an agricultural product and therefore where agricultural uses are permitted, the County may be precluded from arguing that marijuana is prohibited. Therefore, in order to maintain the County’s position related to marijuana activities, the County should adopt express prohibitions.”
The Planning Commission will likely approve the request which is only a recommendation that needs approval by the Board of Supervisors who will make their decision on Tuesday, April 11.
Information to contact supervisors here.