RED BLUFF — Controversial bans on marijuana dispensaries and the cultivation of medical cannabis were approved by the Red Bluff City Council on Tuesday night.
The council voted 5-0 to pass an urgency ordinance for a 45-day ban on marijuana dispensaries, collectives and cooperatives.
The prohibition would give city leaders time to decide how best to regulate the growth and sale of medical marijuana in town, City Council member Forrest Flynn has said.
In a separate 4-1 vote, the council voted to amend a zoning code and ban the cultivation of any type of marijuana, including medical cannabis.
Turnout was heavy for the meeting. Council members listened to more than two hours of public testimony from about two-dozen people, although most of the speakers argued in favor of medical pot.
Red Bluff needs specific regulations to keep the growth of collectives manageable, Red Bluff Chief of Police Paul Nanfito has said.
Local governments statewide are grappling with the voter-approved Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which allows patients with a doctor’s recommendation to use and grow marijuana under certain conditions.
While marijuana remains illegal under federal law, the Justice Department announced a policy last month saying its prosecutors would back off from pursuing people complying with state laws.
Late last month, the Tehama County Board of Supervisors voted to add 10 months and 15 days to a 45-day prohibition on medical marijuana dispensaries that expired last week.
In Shasta County, the Redding City Council will meet later this month to again tackle the issue and work on crafting an ordinance regulating medical marijuana collectives.
Last month, the Shasta County Board of Supervisors voted down a suggested moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries.