CHICO, Calif. - As January slowly but surely approaches, cities in the Northstate are faced with a daunting decision - will they allow the sale of marijuana?
Proposition 64 already legalized personal marijuana use for adults 21 and over, but now it's up to the municipals to regulate its sale.
Come January 1, 2018, California will open applications for businesses to get a license that will allow them to sell recreational marijuana, but each city within the state can still determine whether or not they're on board.
Marijuana is the top cash crop in the state and while some cities are planning to take advantage of that, others, like Chico have decided it's best not to.
Tuesday, Chico City Council directed staff to consolidate all current and past marijuana ordinances into one, but the bottom line is no commercial sale of marijuana will be permitted. They will allow for limited cultivation indoors, for personal use, pursuant to the state law. This allows no more than six plants. This ordinance will be back for official council approval in November.
On the other hand, Shasta Lake has decided to allow it all. Voters approved Measure A at 79%, which places a square footage tax on commercial cannabis cultivation and manufacturing. This tax will vary, starting at $7 per square foot and going up to $26.
The city manager said several businesses have expressed interest in applying for a license and one has already been approved. That license will go into effect when the state law begins to allow for those applications on January 1, 2018.
The city of Corning is slightly more up in the air about what it will allow. Tuesday, staff held a special workshop to encourage their residents to participate in the discussion. The city manager said people were divided, but at this point, the city council has given staff direction to draft an ordinance that will allow retail sales in a maximum of two businesses.
The city manager stressed that this has not yet been approved, but will go to council for approval by November, at the latest. They've already decided that no outdoor personal cultivation will be allowed, but have not yet addressed if outdoor commercial cultivation will be prohibited as well. Though up to two businesses may be allowed to sell marijuana within Corning city limits, customers will not be allowed to consume it on site.
As for Redding, staff has held numerous workshops to include locals on their decision. The city attorney is expected to present his recommendation to council on October 17.