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December 12, 2017
5:00 PM
Time Details:
At or after 5:00PM
City Council Chambers
100 Santa Rosa Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
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Public Hearing on Draft Comprehensive Cannabis Ordinance

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The City’s Draft Comprehensive Cannabis Ordinance, which addresses both medical and adult-use, is scheduled for a public hearing and action by the City Council on Tuesday, December 12, 2017, at or after 5:00PM in the City Council Chambers.

The 2016 and 2017 City Council Goal Setting Workshops established five priorities to better focus staff efforts towards achieving established Council Goals.  One of the Tier 1 priorities (projects that are underway or receiving the highest attention) is to “pursue current opportunities for medical marijuana, cannabis cultivation, lab and employment development. Prepare for impacts of legalized recreational marijuana.” 

In accordance with Council goals, and in response to the State’s adoption of several cannabis related laws and voter propositions, the Council has continued to assert its interest in retaining local authority over medical and adult use cannabis operations. 

On January 19, 2016, the City Council directed staff (7-0) to prepare a city-wide City Code Text Amendment to provide comprehensive regulations for medical cannabis uses (later amended after the passage of Prop 64 and SB 94 to address both medical and adult use). In addition, the Council reconvened the Medical Cannabis Policy Subcommittee and staff convened a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).  

Following over twenty Council Policy Subcommittee meetings, several TAC sessions, and extensive public outreach and discussion, a Draft Comprehensive Cannabis Ordinance was initially published on June 30, 2017, later amended October 5, 2017.  Continued outreach and discussion ensued which resulted in further refining of the ordinance.  

The City’s Draft Comprehensive Cannabis Ordinance is scheduled for a public hearing and action by the City Council on Tuesday, December 12, 2017, at or after 5:00PM in the City Council Chambers.  Comments on the draft can be sent to Clare Hartman, Deputy Director – Planning, Planning and Economic Development Department, at  All comments will be considered and forwarded to the City Council.

The City’s Planning Commission recommended Council approve the ordinance, with some amendment.  Highlights of the Ordinance as recommended by the City Planning Commission is as follows:

Establishes a limit of 6 mature plants as the cultivation limits for personal medical and adult use
Consolidates the City’s interim cannabis policies
Allows for adult use and medical use cannabis businesses and regulates both in the same manner
Directs commercial cannabis businesses to commercial and industrial districts
Establishes an operator in good standing program
Provides standards to address security, odor, lighting and noise
Provides for new dispensaries in commercial and industrial areas
Addresses overconcentration of dispensaries with a 600 foot setback required to other dispensaries
Addresses proximity of a dispensary to a K-12 school with a 1,000 foot setback between uses
Allows for delivery services through a Retail facility
Prohibits outdoor cultivation of commercial cannabis businesses
Prohibits outdoor cultivation of personal cannabis adjacent a school
Prohibits commercial cultivation in the -LIL (Limited Light Industrial) Combining District

Additionally, the Council will consider staff and budget appropriations needed to implement the City’s Cannabis Program to ensure effective permitting, outreach/education, monitoring, taxation and enforcement.  Specifically, the Council will consider amending Fiscal Year 2017-18 position allocations for various departments by adding 7.0 FTE staff members, increasing appropriations for staffing and related costs, for a total of $931,000 to be supported by FY 17-18 Cannabis Business Tax and General Fund revenue from cannabis business taxes, permit and inspection fees.