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Commercial cannabis moratorium continues

The moratorium on commercial cannabis cultivation will continue after a unanimous vote by the Plumas County Board of Supervisors at a special meeting Nov. 27. This decision reiterated the board’s preliminary decision to put a moratorium on commercial cannabis Oct. 24.

A few members of the public spoke during yet another crowded board meeting, and the majority opinion was in favor of the moratorium. With no discussion by the board, District 3 Supervisor Sherrie Thrall motioned to extend the uncodified emergency ordinance. The motion garnered unanimous support and now the moratorium can last up to two years.

After the meeting, Feather Publishing contacted County Counsel Craig Settlemire for more details on what the moratorium means for the county, especially those already involved in cannabis cultivation.

He explained that the moratorium is a temporary ordinance that defines the county’s current position on cannabis cultivation to its citizens and to the state. It cannot last any longer than two years, and it cannot rollover into another two-year sequence. The moratorium will only last until the county adopts an official cannabis ordinance.

“My expectation is that it will not require those two years,” said Settlemire.

Currently, there are two draft cannabis ordinances that are heading to the county’s planning commission for review. One ordinance was drafted by the board-appointed Cannabis Working Group, and another was developed by a citizen’s group called The Citizens Group for a Responsible Cannabis Ordinance.

While those ordinances are being reviewed, the moratorium prohibits cannabis cultivation in the county, with the exception of six plants per household allotted for personal use.

Settlemire says this position is not a new one for the county, and cannabis cultivation has never been allowed according to the county’s zoning codes.

When Prop. 215 passed in 1996, it allowed for medical cannabis growth without prosecution, however Settlemire said the county still had the ability to regulate medicinal growth through zoning regulations.

Plumas County exercises permissive zoning regulations, which means if the product isn’t listed in the county’s code as a permissive use, then the property cannot be used for that purpose. Cannabis cultivation has never been listed in the county’s zoning codes, which means it has never been a permitted use, whether it is medicinal or commercial.

“It is the same as it has been in the past,” said Settlemire. “We are aware that people have been growing … and we will have to exercise the prosecutional discretion of the county.”

Settlemire said the moratorium then serves two purposes. The first is to explicitly state to the citizens that the county does not allow cannabis cultivation, with the exception of the six plant allotment. The second is to “declare to the state that there is an express prohibition on cannabis cultivation,” so the state will know not to issue any county citizens the cannabis growth permits that will become available Jan. 1.

6 thoughts on “Commercial cannabis moratorium continues

  • December 8, 2017 at 10:27 am
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    Thank you Citizens Group for a Responsible Cannabis Ordinance, you guys are brilliant.
    Now cartels can feel free to commandeer our public lands, patrol the places that My family and I go to hike with assault rifles and dump toxic chemicals into the water table, all while shipping the proceeds made off our public lands into crime syndicates in other country’s, smart and responsible.
    I say, lets give more power to those who wish to operate outside of the law, while simultaneously cutting off our county’s access to state tax money gained from choosing to regulate cannabis grows. That’s how you strengthen a community.

    • December 8, 2017 at 10:46 am
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      ^ Prop 64 uses tax money produced from regulating the cannabis industry to provide funding specifically to the grants and agencies lised below, but only to those county’s that choose to regulate their cannabis industry. Since the CGCRO wishes to deny our county access to this funding, am I to assume you they will provide funding for/to:
      – Youth Education, Prevention, Early Intervention and Treatment.
      – Grants to schools to develop and support Student Assistance Programs.
      – Grants to programs for outreach, education and treatment for homeless youth and out of school youth with substance use disorders.
      – Environmental Restoration and Protection.
      – the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Parks and…

      • December 8, 2017 at 11:19 am
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        ^ recreation.
        – State and Local Government Law Enforcement.
        – Construction of community-based youth treatment facilities.
        – State Water Resources Control Board, and the Department of Pesticide Regulation.

        Perhaps the CGCRO could partner with the cartels( a “I scratched your back now you scratch my back kind of thing), to compensate for the loss in funding for these programs.

  • December 9, 2017 at 11:18 am
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    Here we go again. If we just allowed commercial and collective cultivation we could have all that cool free stuff… promise! Heartofplumas, it’s time to give it up for awhile, your side lost. The vast majority of Plumas County residents do not agree with you and would rather live our lives here without cultivation. We were doing fine before cultivation became a issue and we’ll continue to do just fine without it. It’s just the way it is.

  • December 11, 2017 at 6:02 am
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    I don’t grow commercially, so I am unaffected personally. I advocate for commercial cannabis primarily because I really dislike cartel activity on public lands and have a genuine concern about the opioid epidemic. On a personal level, I enjoy cannabis as a plant very much, it’s a beautiful plant and it’s fun to grow, I have zero interest in profiting off of it. I appreciate it deeply, so it really bothers me when people do negative things with cannabis, like armed cartels on public land, like dumping toxic chemicals into the streams, this is why I want to regulate it. We have “cultivation” now it’s just not regulated, we will continue to have it regardless of the legal status, don’t you think it would be better if it were regulated?

  • December 11, 2017 at 1:30 pm
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    Concur with HOP. However, I think it’s clear by now that if you’re against commercially regulating cannabis in Plumas, you’re very much pro-illegal black markets. You’re probably also pro-pesticides and pro-teen drug use. You may even be pro-opioids, pro-big pharma, love sticking it to cancer patients, pro-criminal activity, and are all for drinking and driving. You may even think the local government is flush with cash. Just know that come January 1st, there’s about to be a noticeable increase in local legal cultivation (6 plants everywhere), increase of teen cannabis use (dealers don’t card), and a burgeoning tax free black market (without the fiscal resources to combat it). I don’t think many people thought this moratorium through.

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