Mendocino County considering changes to cannabis cultivation ordinances

The Board of Supervisors Cannabis Ad Hoc Committee will hold a community meeting on Monday, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Willits Community Center to give residents an update on the committee’s progress and to share recommendations with the Ad Hoc Committee regarding potential revisions of the county’s Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance (Code Section 10A.17 and 20.242).

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors created the Cannabis Ad Hoc Committee on July 10, to review the county’s Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance and report back to the supervisors with recommended revisions to ordinance.The Cannabis Committee consists of Supervisors John McCowen and Dan Hamburg.

McCowen said at the most recent Board of Supervisors meeting that changes to ordinances would include cleanup of language, clarifying ambiguity, and addressing other issues that might be controversial. However, McCowen said that nothing discussed at the meeting will be a done deal, but will instead involve the entire board.

Potential revisions and discussions of change to the cannabis cultivation ordinance are an important current issue for the Board of Supervisors, county departments and the public to help address what will be permitted for the cannabis industry in the county. The Mendocino County Planning Commission held a public hearing last week on proposed changes to County Code that would provide greater flexibility in the review of cannabis cultivation permits by the county. At the end of the meeting, the Planning Commission made recommendations to the board about changes to cannabis ordinances.

A Department of Planning and Building Services summary about potential changes to the ordinances stated that proposed amendments to County Code chapters 10A.17 – Mendocino Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance and 20.242 – Cannabis Cultivation Sites, would give greater flexibility for setbacks and lot sizes in the review of cannabis cultivation permits.

Mendocino County has also worked with Michael Baker International, a consulting group, to develop recommendations and solutions for amendments to cannabis ordinances and cannabis zoning exemptions. The county hired the consulting group after it realized that county planning staff couldn’t handle the large project while working on all the other projects. The consulting group this year has met with different groups and gathered information through surveys and public meetings to help make recommendations on changes to the County Code.

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