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Sacramento City Council: Marijuana Moratorium Next Step To Legalizing Cultivation

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Marijuana found in a South Sacramento pot house September 2013.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

UPDATE: Jan. 4 - (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown signs an emergency bill that eliminates an upcoming deadline local governments faced to ban or regulate medical marijuana cultivation.

Original Post: The Sacramento City Council voted Tuesday to issue a 45-day moratorium on marijuana cultivation, with the understanding that cultivation rules will be determined in the coming weeks.

People at the meeting argued over the requirement for a conditional use permit.

Thomas Burruss wants to know where marijuana will be grown.

"If we require churches to have a conditional use permit, why should we not require that of an unchartered industry -namely, cannabis cultivation."

But dispensary operators like Kimberly Cargile say medical marijuana has already been supplied by people growing in the city without a permit.

"Since 2003 without any nuisance problems, we've been providing for our patients. "

Within 45 days, the council will consider whether it or the planning commission will have the final say in approval of cultivation sites.

Medical marijuana advocates like Richard Miller say a public permit ting process gives criminals the addresses of cultivation sites.

 "By putting that conditonal use permit, you may attract the black market to try to wipe out some of the medical cannabis that's being grown in this city."

But, business owners like Larry Taylor want a public permitting process. He recently purchased a building in the Power Inn area.

"In a cannabis area uncontrolled, I would not be here which means you'll have employees that aren't going to be there, incoming coming for the city that's not going to be there."

The council voted to send a cultivation ordinance to its law and legislation committee, but might not have rules it can agree on in that 45-day timeframe.

Sacramento joins other California cities and counties to ban cultivation in order to maintain control over local law.

A state law that went into effect January 1, gives control to the state in places where there are no local rules.

The state legislature has  passed a bill rescinding a state takeover. It is awaiting a decision by Governor Jerry Brown.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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