Arvin adopted marijuana ordinance

With people set to vote on Proposition 64 at the ballot box next month, the city of Arvin is taking steps to implement an ordinance, just in case the measure passes.

Prop 64 legalizes the use of recreational marijuana for people 21 and older. It allows for the cultivation of six marijuana plants on private property and can be grown outdoors or indoors, depending on regulations by local governments.

At a special Arvin City Council meeting Tuesday evening, the council members voted 4-0 to adopt an ordinance that prohibits outdoor marijuana cultivation but regulates indoor growing. The ordinance is valid only if voters statewide pass Prop 64.

Among other controls, growing marijuana would require a permit from the city to be renewed annually. A fee for such a permit still needs to be established. Tenants can cultivate only with the prior express written consent of the property owner provided to the city on a city form. A residence must be occupied full time by the person cultivating the recreational marijuana, and must have a fully functioning kitchen, bedroom, bathroom not being used for cultivation.

No one from the public spoke before the city council to express concerns regarding the ordinance. But some worry if voters approve the recreational marijuana measure.

“If the state says they need it and want it, well there’s not much we can do,” said Arvin resident Salvador Partida. “But in Arvin, we need to control it.”

Violation of the ordinance is considered a misdemeanor. Fines range from $250, $500 then $1,000 for each citation per incident/marijuana plant in a one year period.

Arvin is the only city in Kern County to adopt such an ordinance. Bakersfield deputy city attorney Richard Iger said that if Prop 64 passes, the city does not propose adopting any such ordinance in the near future, because the city does not have the resources to enforce regulations on indoor marijuana cultivation.

Bakersfield already has a ban on outdoor marijuana cultivation, and Iger said that ban would stand.

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