Facing a state deadline of March 1, the Chino planning commission voted 7-0 Monday to recommend the City of Chino adopt an ordinance to prohibit cultivation, delivery or dispensing of marijuana within the city limits.
Cities that do not adopt their own regulations by the deadline will be subject to regulation by the state under the recently signed Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, senior planner Michael Hitz told the commission. The state will permit the marijuana activities that the ordinance would ban, he said.
If adopted by the city council, the ordinance would amend the city’s vehicles code to prohibit delivery of marijuana within the city. It would amend the zoning code to prohibit marijuana dispensaries or farms. The council is expected to consider the ordinance at its Jan. 5 meeting.
The new state marijuana regulations were created by three bills passed during the 2015 legislative session: AS 243, AB 266 and SB 643.
Together they establish licensing requirements for the cultivation, distribution and transportation of medical marijuana along with safety and testing requirements for the substance. The bills regulate physicians who recommend or prescribe marijuana for their patients.
The bills allow local agencies to restrict and even prohibit activities related to medical marijuana within their jurisdictions, but only if the regulations or prohibitions are in place by March 1.
Even though Proposition 215, passed in 2008, permits medical marijuana use in California, the substance remains outlawed under federal law, Mr. Hitz said. The drug also may be linked to crimes such as theft by individuals needing money to buy it, he said.
The city also is concerned that marijuana cultivation could lead to electrical fires in grow houses, the planner added.
In response to a question from the commission, Mr. Hitz said the amendment to the vehicles code would prohibit delivery of marijuana to a patient either by the supplier or by another party who volunteers to retrieve the substance for the patient. With no dispensaries or deliveries allowed in Chino, medical marijuana users would have to travel outside the city limits in person to retrieve their drugs, he said.