City of Ukiah, California

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The Legalization of Cannabis

In November 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64, thereby legalizing certain aspects of cannabis use for adults. During the last year, government officials all over California have been developing local laws to dictate where cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and sales can (and cannot) occur. As we begin 2018, local, county and state governments are now issuing permits for those in the cannabis industry.

In Ukiah, the city councilmembers have been busy establishing guidelines for cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and sales within city limits. They adopted a new Dispensary Ordinance to regulate the sales of medicinal cannabis, reduced the number of plants that can be cultivated per parcel from twelve plants to six (indoors only), adopted new building codes that regulate where cannabis plants can be grown indoors, and added safety requirements when cultivating cannabis indoors to reduce the chances of fire and mold from harming occupants.

In case you are not familiar with the laws governing cannabis, here’s some useful information.

1. What did Proposition 64 legalize?

  • It is now legal for an adult (21 years or older) to possess, transport or give another adult no more than one ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis.

  • An adult can now grow up to 6 plants at his or her residence and keep the marijuana produced by those plants. (Please note that within Ukiah’s city limits, it remains illegal to cultivate plants outdoors. Also, those who grow cannabis indoors must comply with the new safety ordinances protecting occupants against fire and mold.)

  • Retail sales of recreational marijuana to adults cannot begin until retailers have been licensed.

2. What is still illegal?

  • It is illegal to consume marijuana in a public place, and a violation is considered an infraction with a $100 fine. (In the future, licensed establishments will be permitted to allow on-site consumption.)

  • It is illegal to smoke or vaporize marijuana within any non-smoking area, or within 1,000 feet of a school, day care or youth center while children are present—except at a private residence. A violation is an infraction with a $250 fine.

  • It is illegal to consume marijuana or possess an “open container” while driving or as a passenger within a motor vehicle, boat, or airplane. A violation is an infraction with a $250 fine.

  • It is illegal to manufacture concentrated cannabis with volatile solvents, except for state-licensed manufacturers.

  • It is illegal for anyone under 21 to use, possess, transport, or cultivate marijuana, and a violation is subject to a $100 fine; or drug counseling and community service for those under 18.

  • It is illegal to possess more than 1 ounce of marijuana and a violation is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and up to a $500 fine.

3. Rights not protected as a result of Proposition 64

  • If you’re a renter, landlords can still forbid the possession or use of cannabis on their property, and employers can prohibit cannabis use by their employees.

4. Ukiah Building Codes

  • Within Ukiah’s city limits, it is not permissible to cultivate cannabis in any room used for residential occupancy–like a kitchen, bathroom or bedroom.

  • Indoor cannabis cultivation must comply with applicable state and local fire and building codes.

  • The use of gas products (e.g., carbon dioxide, butane) is strictly prohibited.

  • Water waste, including chemical fertilizers and pesticides, must be contained and cannot be discharged to the sewer system or storm drains.

Jurisdictions are still debating whether recreational sales will be allowed, and if so, under what circumstances. So, for the time being, the laws already in place are our guide.

In closing, I would be remiss if I didn’t say, PLEASE be careful with cannabis. It is still against the law to use cannabis (or any drug) and then drive. Driving while intoxicated endangers everyone, so please drive sober. Impaired driving is not worth the risk.

As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have any suggestions or comments about how we can improve, please feel free to call me, complete our online survey, or leave a crime tip on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com. 


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Safety · Professionalism · Community Service