Commercial marijuana cultivation and dispensation are now illegal within Fountain Valley following a 4 to 1 vote of the City Council on Tuesday.
The council reviewed a first draft of the ordinance in November, but members believed it should have a provision to protect people who need to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. A provision was added for the second reading to allow patients with medical identification cards to obtain medicinal marijuana from another city and take it home. The provision also allows primary caregivers to take cannabis into the city for patients who are too sick to leave their homes.
The ordinance will take effect Jan. 1.
Councilman Mark McCurdy cast the dissenting vote Tuesday, following up his earlier position that requiring those who need medical marijuana to get it outside the city poses a hardship.
Several cities have taken action in response to California’s new Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act. That law, which also becomes effective Jan. 1, seeks to regulate the distribution, processing, transportation and testing of medical marijuana across the state.
In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, allowing patients to use marijuana for medicinal purposes with the guidance of a primary caregiver. Under the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, cities must establish their own laws regarding medical marijuana cultivation and dispensation by March 1 or the state will be the sole authority for licensing and regulation.
Newport Beach recently banned all marijuana cultivation and dispensaries in that city.