Adelanto To Permit Commercial Marijuana Cultivation In Industrial Park

The City of Adelanto this week became the first of San Bernardino County’s 24 cities to legalize the massive scale cultivation of medical marijuana for commercial purposes.
In a 4 to 1 vote with councilman Ed Camargo dissenting, the council on Monday, November 23 approved a measure that will license such operations to be located within the city’s expansive industrial park and draw at least fifty percent of those who work there from Adelanto itself.
Aside from Camargo’s objecting vote, the matter has created some back and forth and contretemps. Councilman Charlie Glasper, who supported the ordinance, earlier this year was resistant to the concept of the city embracing enterprises relating to marijuana. Five months ago he adjusted his opposition, consenting to allowing cultivation operations in the city, but remaining opposed to clinics and dispensaries, where the product would actually be marketed. The ordinance was first considered and voted upon November 18, at which time councilman Jermaine Wright was opposed to its form, which limited the number of indoor marijuana growing farms to six. The ordinance was since changed, eliminating the defined numerical cap and instead controlling the number by constraining them to industrial areas specifically designated for the nurseries. The ordinance was birthed under the legal tutelage of interim city attorney Julia Sylva, who was hired on a 90-day contract the very day, November 18, the ordinance was first considered. Earlier on November 18, city attorney Todd Litfin resigned. It is not clear whether the city’s intent to move ahead with the ordinance prompted Litfin’s exodus. He is not talking about the matter.
The ordinance will go into effect
30 days after Monday, i.e., December 23.
According to the ordinance “marijuana cultivation is a conditionally permitted use on property within the manufacturing/industrial zoning designation in the industrial park” and is restricted from taking place “within two thousand five hundred feet of a school, public playground or park, child care or day care facility, youth center, or church.” The ordinance further says the operations are “allowed only within fully enclosed and secure structures inaccessible to minors” and that “From a public right-of-way, there shall be no exterior evidence of indoor medical marijuana cultivation.” According to the ordinance “On-site smoking, ingestion, or consumption of marijuana or alcohol shall be prohibited on the premises of the medical marijuana cultivation facility [and] no advertising of companies, brands, products, goods and/or services shall be permitted. Signage shall not include any drug-related symbols.” Furthermore, according to the ordinance, “The medical marijuana cultivation facility shall not distribute, sell, dispense, or administer marijuana out of its facility to the public [and] shall not be operated as a medical marijuana dispensary.” The ordinance states that “Any and all permits permitting the operation of a medical marijuana cultivation facility shall expire and be null and void twelve months after issuance to the permitee, unless otherwise extend by the city manager, in writing. A minimum of fifty percent of all employees employed by the permitee at the cultivation facility, pursuant to this permit, shall be residents of the city.” The ordinance requires a security plan, including an alarm and security cameras in use 24 hours per day, seven days per week. The owners must produce footage from the security camera to the city manager upon demand. The city manager is required under the ordinance to carry out background checks of the owners, managers and employees of the facilities. Any falsification of the application for a permit or determination that the applicant has ever been convicted of a felony is grounds for denying the permit.
There is a limited window for applying to conduct such a cultivation operation. The ordinance states, “The city manager will accept applications for medical marijuana cultivation permits during a thirty day period after adoption of this ordinance. Such thirty day time period plus an additional seven days to complete the reviews and the preparation of the reports called for in this section shall be deemed the ‘application period.’” Those that pass muster with the city manager will then be ranked and evaluated and some will ultimately be granted a permit under the standards laid out in the ordinance.
Applicants must, according to the ordinance “execute an indemnification agreement prepared by the city… [that] shall fully indemnify the city for any and all litigation that may arise in furtherance of this ordinance, [and] carry insurance in the amounts and types that are acceptable to the city manager, name the city as an additionally insured, agree to defend at its sole expense any action against the city, its agents, officers and employees because of the issues of such approval; and agree to reimburse the city for any court costs and attorney fees that the city may be required to pay as a result of such action.”
The ordinance also states, “The city shall create an oversight committee to oversee activities of the permittee(s) to ensure that all applicable local, state, and federal laws are in compliance .”
The ordinance states “Recognizing that there is a potential conflict between federal and state law, it is the city council’s intention that this chapter shall be deemed to comply with California law as established by the ‘Compassionate Use Act” the Medical Marijuana Program Act, and all other state laws and regulation pertaining to medical marijuana.”
The operation of marijuana clinics and dispensaries in Adelanto is yet prohibited.

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