After California voters decided to legalize recreational marijuana in November, the award for capital of cannabis was almost immediately polished and placed upon that state’s mantel. As Governor Jerry Brown and other state lawmakers try to usher in this new era in a responsible and well-regulated way, county officials are already working on recreational and medical marijuana systems.
This week, Los Angeles County—the most populated county in all of the United States, boasting over 10 million residents— had its first set of regulations approved by the County Board of Supervisors. In a unanimous vote, the committee voted to ban all commercial cannabis activities in unincorporated areas.
Originally put in place back in 2010, this restriction was extended to include cultivation, production, testing, and distributing the drug for anything other than personal use. The LA County board also took its first step towards regulating personal cannabis cultivation.
The new ordinance will limit residents to growing six plants at a time. Homeowners will be allowed to cultivate either indoors or outdoors, while those who live in apartments will be restricted to cultivating inside. Additionally, these plants are not allowed to be visible from a public right-of-way or fence. The amendment will also prohibit cannabis grows within 600 feet of any school or daycare.
However, the County Board of Supervisors also amended the ordinance by stating that it’s only an interim step in a wider process. These initial restrictions will give LA County more time to create a more comprehensive set of regulations. California will not issue permits for recreational canna-businesses until January 2018.
“There's a lot of work yet to be done with respect to this brave new world that we're about to enter,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas."The ban does not mean that we are reinstating the war on drugs or that we are opposing the vote of the people. We are trying to create rational, responsible and accountable cannabis commerce."
LA County residents may find these regulations too restrictive, but the positive news is that they will allegedly only be temporarily instilled while the County Board of Supervisors work out a more full-fledged plan. Until then, LA residents and companies will have to follow these guidelines and carefully cultivate cannabis in accordance to this ordinance.