Nevada County marijuana: AB21 not necessarily dead on arrival at the Capitol | TheUnion.com
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Nevada County marijuana: AB21 not necessarily dead on arrival at the Capitol

Attorney Melissa Sanchez pulled out her cell phone when she heard Sheriff Keith Royal say AB21 — the bill that would amend a March 1 deadline for local governments to pass marijuana ordinances — was dead on arrival.

Sanchez, who represents some Nevada County growers, wanted to check with her own sources at the state Capitol about the status of the bill that, if passed, would remove that deadline.

“They said that’s not necessarily true,” Sanchez said of her contacts. “There’s a little bit of politicking going on.”



Royal, who on Tuesday recommended to the Board of Supervisors that it pass an immediate ban on outdoor grows, has pointed to the March 1 deadline as a reason to hurry local action. Royal’s presentation also noted the number of massive outdoor grows, butane honey oil labs and resident complaints when discussing the ordinance.

“We like its chances. I don’t think anyone’s opposed to pulling the March 1 deadline. Nobody intended to put local lawmakers under such a tight timeline.”Paul RameyAssemblyman Jim Wood’s spokesman

The board approved the ban, as well as a June 7 vote on the issue by county residents.




The sweeping statewide law passed last year that regulates medical marijuana set that March date for local governments to implement land-use rules. If they fail to pass any, the state will step in with its own.

Assemblyman Jim Wood is a sponsor of AB21, which would eliminate that deadline. According to Paul Ramey, Wood’s spokesman, the bill could reach the governor’s desk by month’s end.

“We like its chances,” Ramey said Wednesday, noting it passed the Senate Governance and Finance Committee that day by unanimous vote. “I don’t think anyone’s opposed to pulling the March 1 deadline. Nobody intended to put local lawmakers under such a tight timeline.”

Supervisor Dan Miller, chairman of the Nevada County Board of Supervisors, said the board voted Tuesday on the urgency ordinance, as well as the June 7 vote, because that is when it came before them.

“It was ready to go,” Miller said. “We were ready to hear it.

“It’s almost a courtesy to them,” Miller added. “We’re giving them a warning.”

According to Miller, the immediate ban on outdoor grows, and limitation to 12 plants for indoor medicinal grows, is best implemented before farmers plan for this year’s crop.

“It’s not for commercialization, to be sold outside of the county,” Miller said, adding that medical marijuana should only be used for personal needs.

That’s what Forrest Hurd, father of 8-year-old Silas, wants. But he fears the new ordinance is too restrictive to grow the specific strain he needs for his son, who had 500 seizures a month before being treated by medical marijuana.

“It’s a difference between life and death,” Hurd said. “We’re talking about children. I can’t go anywhere else and get it.

“I don’t know how to explain how horrible it is,” he added.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.


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