Woodside weighs plan to regulate marijuana cultivation

Urgency ordinance seen as way to preserve options should Proposition 64 pass

Marijuana, including its cultivation in the town of Woodside if state Proposition 64 passes, will be a topic of discussion and possibly action when the Town Council meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, in Independence Hall at 2955 Woodside Road.

Town Hall staff have prepared an urgency ordinance for the council's consideration.

State Proposition 64, if it passes in Nov. 8 election, will make it legal to use marijuana for recreation and to grow it at home indoors and out. The proposition would create a legal structure for the state to license and control commercial operations for its cultivation, processing, testing, labeling, storing, distribution and sale. State laws would have precedence over any local regulations enacted after the Nov. 8 election.

By acting in advance of the proposition's likely passage on Nov. 8, the Woodside council can preserve the town's options for local regulation, Town Manager Kevin Bryant said in an interview. "It may be that we decide to do nothing, but this preserves the options," he said.

The ordinance the council will consider would temporarily ban outdoor cultivation for personal use and commercial cultivation and associated activities, such as processing, testing and labeling.

The ordinance would also allow the council to consider "health and safety regulations, such as required security measures, regarding legal indoor cultivation for personal use which cannot be banned if Proposition 64 passes," the staff report says.

An urgency ordinance requires a majority vote of four-fifths of the council to be approved. With a council of seven members, approval would require the "yes" votes of six members.

With an urgency ordinance in place, the council gives itself time to consider the issues in detail and craft an ordinance under the usual procedures: a public hearing, a first reading of the ordinance and a council vote, then a second reading and council vote, usually two weeks later. If the council votes to approve, the ordinance becomes law 30 days later.

This ordinance could be adopted and go into effect after the passage of Proposition 64, according to Town Attorney Jean Savaree.

While the mayor and mayor pro tem are normally involved in determining the makeup of a meeting's agenda, this item was added by Ms. Savaree "to preserve our options," Mr. Bryant said.


Follow the Almanac on Twitter and Facebook for breaking news, local events and community news.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.


10 people like this
Posted by A Concerned Mom
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 24, 2016 at 1:20 pm

It seems like all the Woodside Town Council wants to do is regulate us. Last week they were trying to stop AirBnB, now they are trying to restrict our rights to grow the plants we want to grow in our back yards. With the cost of living going up, activities like cultivation and renting our spare rooms are things we residents can do to support ourselves. We say NO to cultivation restrictions and YES to TERM LIMITS. That way Peter Mason, Anne Kasten, and David Tanner will get the message.

1 person likes this
Posted by Joel Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Oct 24, 2016 at 1:49 pm

Regulate plants? How about a well regulated militia?

6 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Oct 24, 2016 at 2:18 pm

Hilarious. Here's a list of a few things you can't do in Woodside:

* Build a large underground basement -- because you know, it's underground
* Build a home on your property to the specs that you actually want
* Cut down an Oak tree -- even a dead one -- without a permit
* Construct a new deer fence around your property -- without review
* Grow marijuana for your own use -- even though it will probably soon be legal

Of course, it's perfectly legal to own as many Roosters as you want, so if you're looking to piss off your neighbors you still have that!

3 people like this
Posted by Woodside resident
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Oct 24, 2016 at 5:23 pm

Not just roosters. Woodside has multiple vineyards and of course lots of places to buy liquor. But marijuana? That's completely different....

1 person likes this
Posted by Amy Weems
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 26, 2016 at 11:56 am

It almost looks like Woodside simply hopes to circumvent the will of the people if a select few don't subscribe to their perspective. On this issue, I will only add that we should respect the democratic process and the will of the masses. Private/personal interests seem to dominate this conversation. This Goes well beyond "preserving options", it takes a single position and there is no "option" for residents. If this is technically legal it shouldn't be in my opinion. It also might open Woodside up to litigation and the dismissal of the majority opinion. It regulates much more than simple property rights if nothing else. What if this prohibits existing residents from small scale medication at affordable prices? You don't have to be in the same position to sympathize with the plight of others. Maybe this is a poor quote but : The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Couple brings Chinese zongzi to Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 5,781 views

Don't Miss Your Exit (and other lessons from an EV drive)
By Sherry Listgarten | 6 comments | 1,376 views

Goodbye Food Waste!
By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 1,250 views

"Better" Dads and "Re-invigorated" Moms: Happier Couples
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,078 views

Bobby in Naziland: A Tale of Flatbush
By Stuart Soffer | 2 comments | 486 views


Register today!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Learn More