Marijuana Cultivation Rules Ready For Mendocino Board

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Photo: Derrylwc
Mendocino fave OG Kush at about 6 weeks into flowering.

​Two members of the Mendocino County, Calif., Board of Supervisors’ Health and Human Services Committee say their reworking of the county’s medical marijuana ordinance is ready to be sent to the full board, reports Mike A’Dair of The Willits News.

Committee member John McCowen said the draft revision, prepared along with Kendall Smith, would be sent to the board sometime next month.
Even while the proposed ordinance clamps down on some aspects of medical marijuana growing, it loosens others.
The indoor growing of marijuana would e limited to a space of no more than 100 square feet, and outdoor cultivation would “not subject residents of neighboring parcels who are of normal sensitivity to objectionable odors.” (You know, every time I read something like that, I try to imagine why anyone would find the odor of fresh marijuana “objectionable.”) 

One of the new regulations that serious growers may find problematic is that lighting for indoor growing would not exceed 600 watts per 100 square feet of area, i.e., 600 watts per grow-op. Presumably included because of fire concerns, the rule would suddenly make illegal every grow room that uses a 1,000-watt metal halide or high pressure sodium lamp. Thousand-watt bulbs and ballasts are arguably the standard in the burgeoning indoor marijuana industry.
The ordinance reaffirms the legal number of medical marijuana plants at 25 per harvest. However, it also provides an exemption of up to 99 plants for individuals or collectives with a doctor’s recommendation stating “more than 25 plants is necessary to meet the medical needs of the patient.”
That exemption, however, wouldn’t be as easy to get as it sounds. Under the ordinance, 99-plant exemptions can be granted by the Mendocino Sheriff’s Office only after an application containing 22(!) separate elements has been submitted and approved.
Among those required elements is either a physician recommendation that “the amount to be cultivated is consistent with the applicant’s medical needs” or “a written agreement that the applicant is authorized by one or more medical marijuana dispensing collectives to produce medical marijuana for the use of members of the … collective or collectives.”
Another of the 22 required documents is a statement that the requested use will not use water “illegally diverted” from any stream, creek or river.
One controversial element of the 99-plant exemption application is that it gives the right to the sheriff “to require in the permit application any other information reasonably related to the application, including but not limited to any information necessary to discover the truth of the matters set forth in the application.”
Given the unhappy history of relations between pot growers and the police, that part understandably is causing some concern among medical cultivators.

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County of Mendocino
Supervisor John McCowen: “An approach towards not legalization but at least acceptance of what people are doing”

​McCowen and Smith added language Monday to the ordinance that would allow applicants to employ “third party inspectors,” screened and approved by the sheriff’s office, to affirm an applicant’s statements are true.
“I think what’s in front of us is the best way to reduce the overall level of conflict between people who grow medical marijuana and those who feel their rights and safety are being compromised or endangered by that activity,” McCowen said. “The exemption provides an approach towards not legalization but at least acceptance of what people are doing, provided it is done responsibly.”
Bruce Perlowin, CEO of Medical Marijuana, Inc., said there was a lot to like in the ordinance.
“You guys have drafted something that is tight and together,” Perlowin said. “I don’t agree with everything in it, but there is a lot of good stuff in this. The third-party stuff you have put together — no one anywhere has anything like this.”
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