Why is the City of Santa Clara considering cannabis-related local health and safety policy now?
In 2016, the State Legislature passed the Medical Cannabis Regulatory Safety Act (MCRSA) and on November 8, 2016, California Voters passed Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA).
Now, the State legislature SB 94 (MAUCRSA) combines and unifies regulations for both medicinal and non-medicinal commercial cannabis activities and the personal use of cannabis.
As a result of the passage of these laws, the City must take steps to incorporate the medical and non-medical regulations for cannabis activities as described under each of the acts into local law.
What does Senate Bill 94, the Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) allow?
Adults 21 and older may possess, transport and use up to an ounce of dried marijuana flowers and 8 grams of cannabis concentrates. This includes out of state visitors.
Adults 21 and older can grow up to six (6) marijuana plants at their home. Local jurisdictions can restrict outdoor cultivation, but cannot prohibit indoor cultivation of these six plants.
A State excise tax and cultivation tax are levied on commercial cannabis activities. Some of the tax revenue will be used for research, law enforcement, education and local grants. Local jurisdictions may impose additional taxes on commercial cannabis activities. Local grants will not be available to jurisdictions that ban commercial cannabis activities.
Is there a difference between “cannabis” and “marijuana”?
No, they are the same. “Marijuana” is a slang term of unclear origin and refers to the more technical Latin genus name “cannabis”. Due to the unsavory connotation sometimes associated with the term “marijuana”, the State legislature and many industry participants now prefer to use “cannabis”.
What cannabis related activities will be allowed in Santa Clara?
Commercial cannabis businesses that will be licensed by the State include manufacturing, cultivation, distribution, retail sales and testing of the plants and related marijuana products. The Santa Clara City Council has directed staff to develop regulations to further explore retail, cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and testing in Zoning Districts were similar uses are already permitted. These draft regulations will be presented to the Planning Commission for review and recommendation to the City Council prior to their consideration of adopting the regulations.
Where will permitted commercial cannabis businesses be allowed in Santa Clara?
The City is considering cannabis-related activities located in zones appropriate for the described use. For example, a cannabis manufacturer may be permitted in a Zoning District that currently permits manufacturing uses. Local ordinances will clearly define zones that are allowable for commercial cannabis activity land use.
What are the City’s guidelines for permitting cannabis-related businesses?
The City’s goals for cannabis-related businesses are:
Establish reasonable and comprehensive regulations that preserve the health and safety of the community.
Ensure compliance with cannabis-related State regulations.
Reduce and eliminate nuisance, crime and “black market” cannabis sales.
When will the regulations be considered for adoption?
Please refer to the timeline at www.santaclaraca.gov/cannabis for a complete list of upcoming dates. The City’s goal is for all cannabis-related regulations to be in effect prior to December 31, 2018.
How can I provide my input to the City and stay informed about the process?
The City encourages community input and participation to navigate the complex and dynamic implementation process for cannabis regulations. We welcome your participation in public meetings that will take place as listed under the Events section of the webpage.