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The Madera Tribune

Pot growers should study new law

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webmaster | 05/04/12

If you have a medical marijuana card, and you are growing your stuff at home, you should read the new city and county marijuana-grow ordinances very carefully.

Otherwise, you could wind up on the wrong side of local law as well as federal law.

As you are aware, the state has had a “compassionate use” law for several years, and also a follow-up law which basically expanded possession limits established in the initial law, which was Proposition 215.

But cities and counties have the right to regulate the growth and use of marijuana, and several, along with Madera County and Madera, are doing just that. Madera’s law was passed Wednesday.

However, the two ordinances differ, and those differences might be significant.

First, the city’s will require that a grow area be no more than 100 square feet. The county’s ordinance allows 120 square feet. In other words, if you live in the city limits, your grow area will have to be smaller than those who live in the county.

The city will require all growing to be done inside — four walls and a roof. Those structures will have to be permitted and inspected. That can be in a residence, in a garage, in a shed. The county’s rules will allow outside growing as long as the marijuana garden is completely behind walls. Both ordinances require odors from the maturing marijuana to be contained so neighbors aren’t bothered by them.

Both city and county require that the growing be done only by the holder of the medical-marijuana card. It must be done at a residence, and not at a commercial establishment.

If the county or city grow is being done by a renter, that renter must have written permission from the landlord to grow the weed.

The city’s ordinance says no grow facility may be located less than 2,000 feet from a school, public park or large day care.

You should definitely read these ordinances if you grow or plan to grow medical marijuana. They’ll both be in force by the end of this month.


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