Lassen County will hold off on making any decisions regarding commercial cannabis for now.
During the Tuesday, Oct. 10 Lassen County Board of Supervisors meeting, the board directed county staff to hold off on making any decisions regarding commercial cannabis licenses for now until more is known about the direction the state will take regarding regulations.
The direction from Chairman Aaron Albaugh, and consensus of the board, is to “stay right where we’re at until things settle down.”
With various laws passed, and the voter approved Proposition 64 last November, which legalized recreational marijuana use, the state is preparing for the legal commercial cultivation and sales Jan. 1.
However, with very few guidelines from the state on the direction and guidelines they will be setting, the supervisors don’t want the county to serve as a guinea pig for commercial cannabis.
The state is expected to release its regulations for commercial cultivation and sales in November.
Currently, the county marijuana ordinance, county code Title 19, allows for the six plants in residences, as allowed under Prop. 64, and a 250 square foot grow, on premises larger than one acre, with a seven-foot fence of substantial construction for medical marijuana patients. Other regulations are listed in the code.
There is currently a total ban on commercial cultivation.
During the meeting; however, some people in the audience requested the board keep an open mind.
“We all don’t know what’s going to happen,” said meeting attendee Jason Ingram. “We don’t know what California is going to say tomorrow, we don’t know what they’re next week, or next month … but say they do have their stuff ready by January first, and we’re not ready. How much is the county going to lose out on? … The doors are rapidly closing.”
Burns said he didn’t expect November and the beginning of January to be “magic dates,” but noted he expected the state to continue to make changes as time goes on.
Burns said, “I know … there is some desire to expedite. We get that, staff gets that. At the same time, our view is that is once you crack the door, in what ever respect that you choose to crack it, it’s hard to correct.”
Supervisor Chris Gallagher agreed, saying, “We would rather get it right, if we can, from the beginning and move forward.”
There was some discussion about letting members of the public meet with the ad hoc committee regarding the topic.