Napa is on the way of reviewing its marijuana laws for the better. This could mean that the city is leaning towards the legal sales of medical marijuana to the residents. This comes after the City Council reviewed the current cannabis ordinance in the city. Well, the last efforts were not so successful as the they were broken down due to legal concerns about four years ago. The city residents have waited for a long time to see some changes.
On Tuesday, the council members are going to vote on the policy that would allow the sale of medical marijuana in a few parts of the city. These are the parts that have been zoned for the medical offices, light industry, and office parks. The ordinance is not just for sales of medical marijuana but also would allow the Napa residents to grow up to a maximum of 6 pot plants. This is only for personal use and not for commercial purposes. Many residents have said that growing outdoors is better than indoors for the conservation of energy.
Seven years on…
This move might have taken a long time, but it is here finally. What most people might not know is that the city had passed a law in 2010 to allow for medical marijuana use. The law however never launched with a few legal concerns. The issues have dragged on for seven years now and it seems the success is near. The law was later repealed in December 2013, even at a time when there were concerns that this could conflict with the federal laws. It could also lead to the opening of a lawsuit to the city for allowing medical marijuana sales.
The propositions of the new law would also see the loosening of some standards as compared to what was offered earlier. Many of these changes are to allow the sale of medical marijuana easier for both the dealers and patients. It would not be great if the patients could be allowed to get access to the marijuana with ease. Most of the changes were floated into the bill in late October by the Planning Commission. It is the commission that recommended the relaxation of some standards that would help improve the production and access to medical marijuana.
Radius needed for marijuana dispensaries
It is common to find many marijuana stores and dispensaries being a certain distance away from schools. The Napa marijuana law recommends a minimum of 1000 feet needed to setup the dispensary from school or any other youth oriented sites. The aim is to keep the kids from being tempted to buy marijuana or negatively influenced. There might be some exceptions to this law. If a cannabis seller had already set up the dispensary in the right radius and then a youth oriented activity come into the area later, the dispensary will still be able to operate. The other important restrictions will continue to operate under the law.
The ordinance would see a few limits placed on the licenses. This means that the sellers would have to renew their licenses annually and they are not transferable. The staff kept in the business to run the dispensaries also need to have a clean criminal background and no previous drug convictions. This will include the employees, contractors, volunteers, and consultants. There have been suggestions to limit these requirements to the owners and managers only, but that still remains unchanged for now.
The ordinance is not going to technically legalize marijuana, but rather decriminalize the sale of medical marijuana in the city. This means that marijuana sellers would be immune to selling marijuana in the city so long as they follow the local and state laws on marijuana.
The ones selling to the patients and caregivers need to have the doctor’s recommendation. They would also be eligible for the city immunity. Commercial growing, warehousing and testing would not be allowed in the city.
Whether people would be allowed to grow marijuana in their lawns would be up to the council’s decision. The California law allows for the growing of marijuana up to 6 pot plants inside the home. The law however leaves it to the local governments to forbid or allow the outdoor cultivation. That is a decision we have to wait for the council to decide.