Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance Upheld by California Court

The 3rd District Court of Appeals has ruled that a city has the right to prohibit the cultivation of marijuana within city limits, despite the fact that state law and previous court decisions allow cultivation to take place.


The marijuana lawyers of Los Angeles are aware that city’s are anxious to use their police power to limit the cultivation of marijuana, even though marijuana cultivation is legal throughout the state pursuant to Proposition 215.

The 3rd District Court of Appeals, sitting in Sacramento ruled that previous court decisions and state law do not prevent the city from limiting the cultivation of marijuana.

By upholding an earlier ruling by a Sutter County Superior Court judge, the Appellate Court – allowed an ordinance which completely prohibits the cultivation of marijuana.

The Court of Appeals claims the ruling is in line with State Supreme Court rulings that have allow zoning provisions which prevent marijuana dispensaries from operating anywhere within city limits.

Marijuana advocates, and those who opposed the banning of marijuana cultivation claim that there were plenty of less stringent options for the Live Oak, and that banning cultivation completely was an extreme choice.

In response the Court of Appeals stated that other choices available to a city are completely irrelevant to the analysis as to whether the ban should be upheld.

Although state-wide votes in California have led to the legalization of marijuana for medical use, the California state court system has repeatedly placed limits on the legalization.

In the past (May 7, 2013) the state Supreme Court of California allowed local governments to ban dispensaries. The decision was a unanimous one and is a reflection of the growing anti-marijuana sentiment among the court system and small local governments.

Typically, the state’s largest cities allow dispensaries to operate and tax them heavily. The smaller municipalities have been more hesitant to allow dispensaries to operate within their jurisdiction.

Marijuana advocates express frustration at these rulings because they chose the chaos of the street drug trade over the regulated business of a dispensary and undermine the intent of Proposition 215.

The Supreme Court ruling was not entirely unexpected as bans on marijuana dispensaries had already been enacted in multiple jurisdictions across the state. However, the ruling does make it clear that state law does not promise medical marijuana patients convenient access to the medicinal pot to which they are entitled.

These bans will force many medicinal marijuana patients across the state to drive long distance to obtain marijuana from a dispensary.

In response to these rulings, leading marijuana advocacy groups with push for legislation that mandates uniform dispensary regulations across the entire state.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.

More Blog Entries:

United States Lags Behind Other Countries in Marijuana Legalization, December 1, 2013, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog
The Feds Backtrack on Marijuana Policy: Planned “Enforcement Actions” in Colorado, November 28, 2013, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog
Additional Resources:

California NORML Patients Guide to Medical Marijuana, November 2013, CA NORML.

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