MARIJUANA IN ENCINITAS

After hearing hours of testimony on all aspects of marijuana regulation issues, we decided to put limited commercial cultivation on agricultural zoned land with safety zones around schools, daycare centers and parks as well as medical marijuana delivery and outdoor cultivation not in street view in a greenhouses to a vote of the people. In the meantime we will keep the status quo by banning all uses.

Prop. 64, Adult Use of Marijuana Act, allows cities discretion in implementing regulation around commercial cultivation, delivery, dispensaries, manufacturing, and personal outdoor cultivation of up to six plants. Prop. 64 passed with 65% of the vote and both those for and against regulating these aspects of Prop. 64 claim different facts about this very high percentage voter approval -- the highest in San Diego County. The opponents to any further expansion of marijuana access stated that those who voted for Prop. 64 didn't intend for access, but rather for the decriminalization. Proponents said that people voted with full intention of every aspect of marijuana production, use and access being available in Encinitas.

To me this was a battle of dueling David and Goliaths. Those supporting a ban were the many against really only one powerful landowner who would profit from commercial cultivation. Those supporting regulation of additional uses were the 65% who voted yes on Prop. 64 versus the powerful vocal minority swaying the Council.

As with many things the truth is likely somewhere in between. Given the discrepancy between vocal opponents and the high voter approval of Prop. 64, we decided 4-1 (Muir voting no) to send it to the November ballot for the people to decide. This is the best outcome and will clarify any ambiguity. 

Next steps will involve writing the ballot measure and resolving the process for commercial cultivation and some manufacturing. In my mind, any processing of marijuana is much closer to a brewery than agriculture. We require a conditional use permit for any brewery and that only in our light industrial zones. This will likely take some time to get right and we have that time between now and late spring when we need to finalize ballot statements. 

In the meantime, state law doesn't provide an option for us to continue with business as usual, so we must ban all uses between now and the November election to keep the status quo.