KING CITY — The City of King is looking into making changes to the commercial medical marijuana and recreational ordinances to align itself with Prop 64.
The first item up for discussion was the direction that the City Council wanted to take for commercial marijuana. With the majority voting in favor of adult use of recreational marijuana, the city needed to update and modify its ordinances.
“The Prop 64 law went into effect immediately, which meant that people could start growing outdoors anywhere in the state even if you are located across from a school,” said City Attorney Shannon Chaffin.
The City Council chose to approve ordinances that prohibited personal recreational grows outdoors and limited indoor growing of personal recreational marijuana.
“There’s also been some requests from not only the applicants but also from staff,” Chaffin said. “When we have a new ordinance or have a new system come in, oftentimes staff will run with an application, and part of doing their job they identify ways that they can either streamline items or questions that come up.”
According to Chaffin, a question that arose was insurance amounts for medical marijuana growing operations. In some cities the recommended amount is $1 million in insurance coverage; Chaffin also came across a lease for $3 million.
“I don’t think we should plan our budget on marijuana,” Council Member Darlene Acosta said. “I don’t think that should be the prevailing issue.”
Acosta said the new cannabis businesses would just put more products into the community and make it easier for the youth to get their hands on it.
Mayor Mike Lebarre was also against dispensaries for both medical and recreational marijuana. He also thought the insurance amount should be $1 million for now and then see how the industry pans out.
The amount of ethanol allowed on medical marijuana cultivation and manufacturing was also discussed due to the amount of ethanol in a barrel of 55 gallons. The council had previously approved 50 gallons of ethanol.
The council members also wanted to include more public education on the marijuana industry that could potentially be funded through the industry taxes.
The education would be geared toward youth and address the dangers and issues of marijuana use.
City staff will come back in May to address the ordinance and clean up the concerns of the medical marijuana businesses.
An earlier version of this story had misspelled the name of Shannon Chaffin.