Council votes to extend marijuana emergency ordinance

SOLEDAD  The City of Soledad is extending the regulations on cultivation, distribution and the use of non-medical marijuana for 12 more months.

As of December 2016, Proposition 64 legalized recreational marijuana use for adults over 21 years old. The law also allowed for six marijuana plants to be grown indoors or outdoors by adults.

City staff came to the City Council during that time and presented an interim emergency ordinance to put a hold on recreational facilities in the city of Soledad until the state came up with their regulations.

“When you adopt one of these emergency ordinances, it’s only good for 45 days,” said City Attorney Mike Rodriguez. “We subsequently came back and asked for you to extend that for an additional 10 months and 15 days for a full year.”

According to Rodriguez, that year would be coming up quickly. The State of California has not released the regulations for recreational marijuana manufacturing and cultivation facilities yet. Cities all across California are trying to figure out what to do after January regarding the regulations and according to Rodriguez, most cities are doing similar things that the City of Soledad staff was proposing to the council on Nov. 15.

Currently, city staff recommends the council extend the urgency ordinance to provide the time needed to determine the regulations for the recreational marijuana facilities.

When the City Council was first discussing marijuana, medical or recreational, the ordinance was a total prohibition on recreational cultivation and manufacturing facilities within the city.

The ordinance did allow for indoor grows of six marijuana plants under a set of conditions.

The conditions included proper fire facilities and the grow area is not close to a sleeping area, houses, etc.

“At this point nobody has come into the city to request any oversight of that indoor grow type of facility,” said Rodriguez.

The City Council voted unanimously to pass the extension of the non-medical marijuana emergency ordinance.

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