Plumas County Indoor Only Cannabis Ordinance
NOTICE OF INTENT TO CIRCULATE A PETITION
Notice is hereby given of our intention to circulate a petition within Plumas County to establish an ordinance, called the “INDOOR ONLY CANNABIS ORDINANCE.” State Law requires licensure and regulation of cannabis operations and each county seeking to allow commercial cannabis must produce a set of county regulations, and issue county licenses, before a state license will be given to a cannabis business.
For over a year the Cannabis Working Group (“CWG”), has worked diligently on a draft cannabis ordinance (CWG ordinance) with input from County Planning, Agriculture, Law Enforcement, Counsel and Citizens.
The INDOOR ONLY CANNABIS ORDINANCE borrows from the CWG draft but further limits commercial cannabis cultivation to INDOOR ONLY (within hard shell buildings only) on land zoned agricultural, industrial, rural, mining, or secondary suburban. Further limitations include that cultivation and other commercial cannabis businesses (i.e. dispensaries, testing facilities, manufacturing facilities, packaging facilities, nurseries and distribution operations) must be located outside the “Town” boundaries of Chester, Lake Almanor Peninsula/Hamilton Branch, Greenville, Quincy/East Quincy, Graeagle and Delleker as shown on the maps in the Plumas County General Plan. New buildings may be built on land with the proper zoning designations, but any building used for cannabis cultivation or other cannabis business must be located outside the “Town” boundaries of Chester, Lake Almanor Peninsula/Hamilton Branch, Greenville, Quincy/East Quincy, Graeagle and Delleker as shown on the maps in the Plumas County General Plan.
As an Initiative, the INDOOR ONLY CANNABIS ORDINANCE additionally has: 1. an allowance for combining adjoining parcels to meet acreage requirements; 2. a CEQA section noting that SB 94 exempts counties enacting cannabis ordinances from CEQA requirements if and only if the permits are discretionary. Accordingly all cannabis business licenses in Plumas County will require a Special Use Permit (SUP) which are discretionary so they circumvent CEQA requirements; and 3. a GENERAL NET PROFITS of each cannabis business.
After asking the people of Plumas County what they wanted in a cannabis ordinance we learned that most of the County residents do not want to see or smell cannabis, nor do they want the unnatural light coming from green houses in valleys. But these same people do appreciate and would welcome tax revenue based on net proceeds from cannabis businesses. Cannabis can be grown indoors with a near zero energy foot print using solar panels to power the lights. There are vacant farm or industrial buildings scattered all over the county that can be renovated for INDOOR CULTIVATION. New buildings can be built. This ordinance provides a path to commercial cannabis in the county that will not disturb the residents and citizens who are not interested in experiencing any part of the cannabis plant or the cannabis business.
The INDOOR ONLY CANNABIS ORDINANCE gives cannabis operators in Plumas County a pathway to become licensed and regulated, while protecting the environment and preserving the natural beauty of Plumas County.
Signed: Leigh Firestone
136 Lassen St., Chester, CA 96020.
Feb. 6, 2018.
Initiative Measure to Enact Voter-Approved County Ordinance for Indoor Only Cannabis . Activities
The purpose of this initiative is to adopt an ordinance that will supersede any outstanding county ordinance pertaining to cannabis (also known as marijuana) activity in the unincorporated area of Plumas County, including the moratorium ordinance prohibiting commercial cannabis cultivation enacted by the Board of Supervisors on October 24, 2017.
Under the proposed ordinance:
Persons or entities engaging in medicinal or adult-use commercial cannabis activities (indoor cultivation, retail dispensary, delivery service, nursery, manufacturer, testing laboratory, or microbusiness) must apply for an annual permit that is subject to payment of a fee each year, and annual inspections by the County Agricultural Commissioner or the Planning Department. Each application must follow the special use permit process requiring public hearing, notice to neighbors, environmental review, and requirements to address impacts on, and compatibility with, neighboring properties.
Referencing licensing categories defined by the State of California, the ordinance specifically prohibits outdoor and mixed-light cannabis cultivation. The zones where commercial cannabis activity is allowed are specified by license type. Commercial cannabis activities are not allowed within the “town” boundaries of Chester, Lake Almanor Peninsula/Hamilton Branch, Greenville, Quincy/East Quincy, Graeagle and Delleker as shown on maps in the Plumas County General Plan.
Setbacks are required from property lines (10 feet) and from parcels with schools (1,200 feet).
Indoor cannabis cultivation and processing facilities are required to control odor, humidity, and mold. No cultivation lighting shall be visible outside the structure.
A separate “on-site consumption permit” is required for cannabis to be consumed on dispensary premises.
A 10% general tax is imposed on the net profits (defined’ as “net proceeds after calculating the costs of bringing the goods to market”) of commercial cannabis activity.
Violation of the ordinance is declared a public nuisance subject to injunction, abatement, or any other administrative or civil remedy under state law or county ordinance. The remedies described in the ordinance are non-exclusive: other remedies for noncompliance are available for enforcement.
A county permit is not required in any zone for a “Personal Cultivator” to grow up to six cannabis plants indoors, for personal medicinal or recreational use, at that person’s private residence. The cultivation site must be in a locked space and not visible from a public place.
A county permit is not required in any zone for a “primary caregiver” for not more than five “qualified patients” (such terms defined in Health and Safety Code section 11362.7) to grow and process not more than six cannabis plants per patient. The cultivation must be indoors and is not allowed within the “town” boundaries of Chester, Lake Almanor Peninsula/Hamilton Branch, Greenville, Quincy/East Quincy, Graeagle and Delleker as shown on maps in the County General Plan.
Because all permits are subject to the special use permit discretionary review process, the ordinance is exempt from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). Referencing a judicial decision, the ordinance further states enactment of the ordinance by initiative process is not subject to CEQA.
Endorsed and Filed Feb. 21, 2018
Plumas Co. Clerk-Recorder
Melinda Rother, Assistant
Published IVR, PR, CP
March 21, 2018|