On November 14, 2017, the Board of Supervisors adopted amendments to the Non-Coastal and Coastal Zoning Ordinances that expressly prohibit both adult use and medical commercial cannabis activities as defined in Business and Professions Code section 26001(k), except for deliveries from a licensed facility.
Prior to that action, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to return to the Board with recommendations regarding the regulation of unincorporated commercial cannabis businesses within 120 days of the State’s release of its new cannabis regulations. The State released its new temporary emergency regulations shortly thereafter. Accordingly, this matter was scheduled to be heard in June of 2018, but the item was postponed so that hearings regarding Temporary Rental Units could proceed.
The Board is now scheduled to receive its report regarding the regulation of unincorporated commercial cannabis businesses at its November 5, 2019 meeting. The report will present the previously discussed regulatory outline of preliminary zoning ordinance standards and the further “go slow” directives endorsed by the Board of Supervisors. In addition, the report will address the following issues as directed by the Board: Status of City Ordinances, Research Facilities, Indoor vs Mixed-Light Cultivation, Drugged Driving Technology, medical vs adult use regulations, organic cannabis, taxing mechanisms.
Chronological summary of meetings and hearings
December 15, 2015 – The Board of Supervisors received a report on the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), and provided direction to staff to prepare Zoning Ordinance amendments regulating medical marijuana in unincorporated Ventura County. Documents provided during the Board hearing can be found here.
January 26, 2016 – The Board of Supervisors adopted amendments to the Non-Coastal Zoning Ordinance and Coastal Zoning Ordinance to prohibit the operation of dispensaries, commercial cultivation and manufacturing of medical marijuana pursuant to the MMRSA. Documents provided at the Board hearing can be found here, and the Board hearing may be viewed here.Late May, 2016 – A series of community meetings were held to provide the public an opportunity to share their concerns and to receive suggestions for ensuring safe access in a manner consistent with the objectives outlined above. A copy of the presentation from the first meetings may be viewed here. County staff received numerous comments and suggestions from the many residents who attended these meetings. Based on the previous direction given by the Board of Supervisors, the comments received from residents in the community meetings, and the regulations established in the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA), and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), County staff developed the draft preliminary regulations that were presented to the Board on December 6, 2016. A copy of those draft preliminary regulations may be viewed here.
November 9, 2016 - The voters of California approved Proposition 64, the AUMA, which extended protections to adult use of cannabis as well as medicinal use.
December 6, 2016 - The Board of Supervisors directed staff to refine the draft preliminary regulations so that it reflects a "go slow" approach and engage industry stakeholders, patients and the broader community in the development of this approach to regulating commercial medical cannabis activities in the unincorporated areas of Ventura County. In response, a revised regulatory outline was developed, a copy of which may be viewed here.
January 2017 - Interested stakeholders were contacted to seek their input and suggestions regarding the draft regulations. The County received numerous comments and many of them were incorporated into the Draft Regulatory Outline.
March 21, 2017 – The Draft Regulatory Outline was presented to the Board of Supervisors. At that hearing the Board of Supervisors took no action.
September 26, 2017 – The Board of Supervisors took two actions related to the regulation of cannabis in Ventura County.
- They directed staff to prepare an ordinance expressly prohibiting in unincorporated Ventura County the operation of retailers, distributors, microbusinesses for, and the commercial cultivation and manufacturing of, marijuana for adult/recreational use as regulated under Proposition 64; and
- The Board directed the Resource Management Agency to work with the Agricultural Commissioner and other appropriate agencies to develop regulations to allow for the cultivation, manufacturing, and processing of industrial hemp and return to the Board with an analysis and preliminary recommendations.
October 26, 2017 – Staff presented draft ordinance Non-Coastal Zoning Ordinance and Coastal Zoning Ordinance amendments to the Planning Commission, expressly prohibiting commercial cannabis as directed by the Board in September. The Planning Commission hearing may be viewed here.
November 7, 2017 – The Board of Supervisors directed staff to return with recommendations regarding the regulation of commercial medical cannabis businesses in unincorporated Ventura County within 120 days after the State releases the new cannabis regulations. The Board added guidelines regarding permits for manufacturing/processing, dispensary/delivery, testing/researching and microbusinesses, as well as those for cultivation requirements. The Board also directed that these recommendations would include a tax structure that would cover the cost of enforcement of regulations; analysis of differences and similarities between medical and recreational cannabis regulations after the new state regulations are adopted; information about the difference between transport and delivery; and exclude Oak Park as a location for a dispensary. Documents included for the Board hearing can be viewed here.
November 14, 2017 – The Board of Supervisors approved the proposed ordinance amendments to the NCZO and CZO, expressly prohibiting commercial cannabis activities as defined in Business and Professions Code section 26001(k), except for deliveries from a licensed facility. This prohibition does not apply to commercial cannabis activities for which State law preempts local regulation. Documents included for the Board hearing can be viewed here.