In 2015, the State of California passed a law (Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act or MCRSA) creating a licensing process for commercial medical cannabis giving cities the option of allowing or disallowing commercial activities such as dispensaries and personal cultivation.
Background: Medical & Non-Medical Cannabis
Proposition 64: The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (2017)
In November 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64 (Adult Use of Marijuana Act or AUMA) to legalize the private, non-medical use of cannabis by adults. Proposition 64 was supported by 54 percent of Thousand Oaks residents. The law also placed a number of restrictions on the use of cannabis, including that it can’t be consumed in a public place, within 1,000 feet of schools, daycare facilities or youth centers, or while driving or riding in a vehicle. Under AUMA, limited cultivation for personal non-medical use of up to six plants may occur within a household (further regulated by the City that cultivation may only occur within a residential or accessory residential structure. Under these laws, local cities have the option of restricting or prohibiting the commercial cultivation, manufacturing, sale, and distribution of cannabis within their boundaries.
Below are FAQ’s relating to Prop 64:
As of November 9, 2016, it became legal for any adult 21 years or older to:
- Possess, transport, obtain or give away to other adults 21 or older no more than one ounce of cannabis or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis.
- Cultivate up to six plants per residence and possess the cannabis produced by these plants. All plants and harvest in excess of one ounce must be kept in a locked space not in public view at one’s residence. Local governments may still forbid cultivation outdoors, but must allow it inside a private residence or accessory structure that is fully enclosed and secure.
- Medical cannabis patients keep their existing rights under Prop 215 and subsequent State adopted regulations and pursuant to local law and PROP 64’s allowance for 6 plants. Currently, City of Thousand Oaks prohibits all cultivation, and other commercial medical cannabis activities, except for the PROP 64 exemption.
- Retail sales for adult non-medical will not begin until State licensing begins which is estimated to be after Jan 1, 2018. In the meantime, Prop 215 patients with a doctor’s recommendation can continue to purchase at medical collectives and dispensaries (no dispensaries allowed under current law in City of Thousand Oaks).
Under Prop 64, you may NOT:
- Consume cannabis in any public place ($100 infraction) (On-site consumption at licensed premises will be permitted at a later date) or in violation of any standards in the City’s Smoking Ordinance (TOMC Section 6-2.501 et seq
- Smoke or vaporize cannabis in any non-smoking area or within 1,000 feet of a school, day care or youth center while children are present, except privately at a residence. ($250 fine)
- Consume cannabis or possess an open container of marijuana while driving or riding as a passenger in any motor vehicle, boat, or airplane ($250 fine).
- Possess or use cannabis on the grounds of a school, day care or youth center while children are present. ($100 fine).
- Manufacture concentrated cannabis with a volatile solvent (except for state-licensed manufacturers).
- Minors under 21 may not possess, use, transport, or cultivate cannabis, subject to a $100 fine for those 18 and older. Minors under 18 are subject to drug counseling or community service.
- Possession of more than one ounce remains a misdemeanor punishable by $500 and/or six months in jail as at present. Other offenses, including cultivation of over six plants, transport of over an ounce, illegal sale or distribution for compensation, possession with intent to sell, etc., are downgraded from felonies to misdemeanors except in certain aggravating circumstances.
Rights NOT protected by Prop 64:
- Owners may forbid the possession or use of cannabis on their property subject to normal tenant law for renters.
- Employers may prohibit use of cannabis by their employees.
Past City Council Action:
- January 2016 – Regulations adopted prohibiting medical cannabis commercial businesses and personal cultivation.
- December 6, 2016 – Urgency Ordinance adopting extending prohibitions for non-medical commercial cannabis activities, but allowing limited cultivation pursuant to AUMA.
- February 28, 2017 – City Council approves non-urgency ordinance extending prohibitions for non-medical commercial cannabis activities, but allowing limited cultivation pursuant to AUMA.
- March 28, 2017 – Public workshop regarding long-term cannabis policy
- June 27, 2017 - Received report on cannabis policy; directed staff to return with guidelines to allow for single testing facility and regulatory requirements for one dispensary in an industrial area
- July 11, 2017 - Initiation of MCA 2017-70260
- October 23, 2017 - Planning Commission looks at zoning requirements
- November 14, 2017 – City Council introduces ordinance with regulatory framework for allowing one medical retailer-cannabis, and one cannabis testing laboratory.
Pending Actions (dates tentative):