The Arroyo Grande Planning Commission recommended the City Council consider a ban on medical marijuana cultivation at its meeting Tuesday night, although commissioners stressed that they would prefer the city regulate and not outright ban the growth of medical marijuana.
Last week, the council directed its staff to draft a complaint-driven ordinance prohibiting city residents from growing medical marijuana, and take it to the Planning Commission for a recommendation. The issue would then return to the council for a final decision.
While commissioners voted Tuesday to recommend the proposed ban on medical marijuana cultivation, they stressed that they did not believe an outright ban was the best choice. Commissioners said, however, that they understood the city was trying to work within a short timespan to keep local control over the issue.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act on Oct. 9, which established a regulatory structure for medical marijuana. The bill states that cities without specific ordinances regulating or prohibiting the cultivation of marijuana by March 1, 2016, will lose their ability to regulate medical marijuana in the city, and the state will become the sole licensing and regulatory authority.
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The City Council is expected to consider the ban at its next meeting Dec. 8.