Beating a state deadline of March 1, the Chino city council voted 5-0 Tuesday to approve 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, community development director Nicholas Liguori told the council. The state will permit the marijuana activities that the ordinance would ban, he said.
The marijuana trade produces negative second effects for a community, Mr. Liguori said, such as crime and environmental degradation.
Chino resident Darrell Kruse urged the council to defeat the proposed ordinance. Opposition to medical marijuana use is racist, Mr. Kruse said, because it is based on a desire to keep illegal aliens from entering the country.
Mr. Kruse reminded the council that he had applied for a permit to operate a marijuana dispensary in 2007 and was denied.
Mayor Dennis Yates told Mr. Kruse that marijuana is illegal under federal law, which was the basis for the denial of his permit nine years ago.
Mr. Kruse operated a medical marijuana collective in Chino Hills from 2010 to 2012 after receiving a business license from the City of Chino Hills classed as “nursery and horticulture services.”
The City of Chino Hills was unaware that his business, called All Green Growers, was a marijuana growing facility until it was discovered by the Champion in 2012.
Chino Hills amended its code in September 2014 to forbid any use or cultivation of marijuana.
After it is adopted at the Jan. 19 Chino council meeting, the ordinance will amend the vehicle code to prohibit delivery of marijuana within the city. It will amend the zoning code to prohibit marijuana dispensaries or farms.
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.