Cannabis Regulations 101

Looking for information about the personal use of cannabis? Do you own a cannabis delivery company and deliver in Redwood City? Do you own a cannabis related business and want to expand in Redwood City?

This blog provides quick facts about the new State cannabis regulations and how these laws apply in Redwood City.

On January 1, 2018, regulations went into effect that made the purchase of recreational cannabis by adults legal in California. Medical cannabis use has been legal in California since 1996. Cannabis remains classified as a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and its purchase, possession, distribution, or use within California is unlawful under federal law.

For a brief history of the California laws associated with the recreational and medical use of cannabis, go here.

Personal Use

WHAT’S LEGAL FOR ADULT USE?

Using Cannabis and Delivery in Redwood City

Under California law, adults 21 or older can use, carry, and grow cannabis (i.e. marijuana, weed, or pot). Buying cannabis became legal for adults 21 or older January 1, 2018. Individuals can consume cannabis on private property but cannot consume, smoke, eat, or vape cannabis in public places. Property owners and landlords may ban the use and possession of cannabis on their properties.

Recently, the City Council banned smoking in all new multi-family dwellings with two or more units and as of January 2019 banned smoking in all multi-family dwellings with two or more units in Redwood City.

Even though it is legal under California law, individuals cannot consume or possess cannabis on federal lands like national parks, even if the parks are in California. It is illegal to take cannabis across state lines, even if individuals are traveling to another state where cannabis is legal. In addition, individuals cannot smoke cannabis within 1,000 feet of a school, day care center, or youth center while children are present. Adults 21 and older can buy and possess up to one ounce (28.5 grams) of cannabis and up to eight grams of concentrated cannabis. Individuals can also plant, harvest, dry, and process up to six cannabis plants in a private residence or on the grounds of a residence. In Redwood City, all plants must be grown indoors such as in the residence or in a green house in the rear yard.

In Redwood City, as of January 2018 delivery of personal recreational is allowed and delivery of medical cannabis was already allowed prior to January 2018.

For more information about personal use regulations, please visit the California Department of Public Health web page here.

WHAT’S LEGAL FOR ADULT HOME GROWING?

Personal Growing of Cannabis in Redwood City

California State law, as of November 9, 2016, allows cannabis to be grown at home. In Redwood City, this means a limit of indoor cultivation of up to six cannabis plants, per household. Outdoor personal cannabis cultivation is not allowed in Redwood City. All commercial cultivation, whether indoor or outdoor, is banned.

Tips for Safely Growing at Home

· Make sure all grow lights and other equipment are installed by a licensed electrician to prevent fire hazards. Growing operations typically require more electrical power than older electrical systems can provide. Be sure to obtain a building permit for any electrical upgrades or modifications needed.

· The use of extension cords in lieu of permanent wiring is not allowed and may present a fire hazard.

· To prevent mold growth, make sure the walls of the grow area do not easily absorb water (painted concrete and plastic wall treatments work the best).

· Make sure the growing space has plenty of ventilation to get rid of excess heat and moisture.

· Avoid the use of pesticides or fertilizers if possible.

· If pesticides or fertilizers are used, make sure they are stored in locked cabinets, out of the reach of children. Also, wear personal protective equipment when using pesticides.

· Only use carbon dioxide generators that are safe and UL listed for indoor use and always install Carbon Monoxide and smoke detectors if using fuel burning equipment.

· Change clothes and shoes when leaving an indoor grow area to prevent tracking chemicals to other areas of the home.

· Throwing items out when you are done:

o To throw away any pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, solvents, and mercury-containing lighting, take these items to a household hazardous waste collection facility. For more details on household hazardous waste collection drop-off locations, go here.

o To properly throw away cannabis plants or food products, grind up and mist the product with food waste or soil so that no one accidentally eats or uses it. It can then be placed in household trash.

Responsible Use and Storage of Personal Cannabis

· Protect your children and pets. Store all cannabis products in a locked area. Make sure children cannot see or reach the locked area.

· Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal and increases your risk of getting into a car crash and injuring others.

· Cannabis affects children more strongly than adults. Children are at higher risk for poisoning from cannabis, especially with edibles.

For other tools and tips on the responsible use of cannabis, resources are available through the California Department of Public Health. For more, go here.

WHAT IS LEGAL FOR CANNABIS BUSINESSES?

Redwood City’s Approach to Cannabis Businesses

The Phased Approach

Delivery of medical cannabis has been allowed in Redwood City since 2016. The City Council approved a phased approach to implementing local adult use cannabis regulations. City staff are actively working to develop the regulations associated with each phase, and many phases will return to the City Council for further discussion and approval in April.

The phased approached includes:

Phase 1: In November 2017, the City adopted a Zoning Code amendment which bans commercial cultivation, manufacturing, testing, retail, and distribution, except for deliveries of medicinal and adult use cannabis. The Zoning Code amendment became effective on December 13, 2017 and includes continuing to allow delivery of medical cannabis and as of January 2018, allowing adult cannabis sales via delivery, from locations outside of Redwood City, limiting indoor cultivation to six cannabis plants for personal consumption, banning outdoor cultivation, and banning all commercial activity, except for deliveries.

Phase 2: Notify delivery operators who may be delivering cannabis that they need to obtain a business license and pay the business license tax. Develop a cannabis regulatory fee to offset staff costs involved with licensing, regulating, and enforcing cannabis activity and regulations associated with deliveries. This phase also includes potentially allowing cannabis research and development business uses within Redwood City. City staff will return to the Council for approval of the proposed fee and regulations. (Currently planned for April 2018).

Phase 3: Implement regulations to allow cannabis delivery centers located in the City. (Currently expected to begin in summer 2018).

Phase 4: Modify the regulations to allow cannabis delivery center businesses. (The City Council discussion is to be determined).

Cannabis Delivery businesses delivering cannabis to Redwood City customers are required to obtain a City business license. For details on the City’s business license, go here.

Next Steps On Redwood City’s Phased Approach

City staff is tentatively scheduled to return to the City Council with proposed regulations and program specifics for implementing Phase 2–3 in April. These proposed regulations will define allowed locations, inspection, enforcement, and other details that would allow for cannabis businesses to be located in Redwood City and to keep cannabis products on-site.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information about the proposed regulations, you can visit the City of Redwood City website here.

For frequently asked questions, go here.

For the State of California Cannabis Portal, go here.

For the State of California Public Health cannabis resources, go here.

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