News

Menlo Park: Council to mull cannabis ban

 
A map indicating the limited locations in which the city could potentially permit cannabis-related land uses or retail areas, factoring in a 1,000-foot buffer around day care centers and schools in the city. (Map courtesy city of Menlo Park.)

Menlo Park city staff is recommending that the City Council prohibit cannabis business-related land uses and ban growing marijuana outdoors. The City Council is scheduled to take up the matter at its meeting tonight (June 18).

After the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) voter initiative passed in November 2016 – which was supported by 67% of Menlo Park voters – the Menlo Park City Council in October 2017 enacted a two-year moratorium on outdoor personal cannabis cultivation and commercial cannabis land uses.

Under the moratorium, people are still allowed to grow up to six cannabis plants indoors and possess cannabis for personal use.

The law received stronger support in Menlo Park than even the county as a whole – which passed the law with a 63% rate of approval – and significantly more than the state as a whole, which supported the law with a 57% rate of approval.

While business applications for cannabis-related operations are processed by the state, the state defers to decisions by local jurisdictions on whether or not to permit cannabis-related businesses.

Cities can also set up their own licensing requirements, or establish separate standards, requirements and regulations for health and safety, environmental protections, testing, security, food safety and worker protections that go beyond state standards.

Most cities in San Mateo County have banned people from growing cannabis outdoors, though Pacifica allows people to grow it outside so long as it's in the backyard, enclosed with a locked fence and isn't directly adjacent to a school or youth center.

When growing cannabis indoors for personal use, people may grow plants so long as they are fully enclosed in a greenhouse on the same property as the home and not publicly visible, according to a staff report.

Non-medical marijuana retail businesses have other restrictions. Existing alcohol and tobacco stores aren't allowed to sell cannabis products, and retailers have to be 600 feet from a school or organization that serves kids. Many communities have extended this buffer to 1,000 feet, according to the report. While some cities have outright banned retailers – such as Palo Alto – other nearby jurisdictions, like Pacifica, permit retailers. Other jurisdictions, like Redwood City and Mountain View, limit retailers to non-storefront locations, according to city staff.

The council is scheduled to begin its regular meeting at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at 701 Laurel St. Access the meeting agenda here or watch the meeting online here.

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Comments

12 people like this
Posted by MP Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 18, 2019 at 11:37 am

Given how cranky and uptight Menlo Park residents seem to be, perhaps more cannabis (not less) would be a good thing.


4 people like this
Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jun 18, 2019 at 11:54 am

What nonsense! Is there any real problem this is addressing? I really do not understand why the Menlo Park City Council wants to micromanage people in this way.


3 people like this
Posted by Mike G
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 18, 2019 at 2:19 pm

It’s a shame that the city Council is even considering a further moratorium or a ban. With 67% of Menlo Park voters supporting the legislation in 2016 how can they withhold what we have voted to approve? It makes zero sense that we have to use online delivery services because our city Council doesn’t have a back bone and thus isn’t allowing local residents to become retailers in a great new business market. I would much prefer to support a local business rather than a large online soon to become conglomerate. I just returned from Colorado and it is so nice to have people who understand this entire process and how far advance they are beyond us in Menlo Park. There is no reason why there couldn’t be a shop locally to provide for residents to get what is legally available in many areas around our state.


7 people like this
Posted by Flynn
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 18, 2019 at 2:44 pm

Would much prefer to see them ban smoking it outdoors (in back yards, for example, where neighbors can be affected) rather than growing it outdoors, which impacts no one.


1 person likes this
Posted by put a lid on it
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 18, 2019 at 3:21 pm

> ...from Colorado and it is so nice to have people who understand this entire process and how far advance they are beyond us in Menlo Park.

Colorado just passed a BILLION in pot tax revenue recently.


1 person likes this
Posted by ol' Homeboy
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 18, 2019 at 5:16 pm

Doesn't our City Council have more important issues to "Mull Over"? Geez, voters have spoken.
Leave this subject alone and focus your circle-jerk on city business! Anyone who has ever sat in on a council meeting, they clearly understand why we can't attract good people on the council.


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 18, 2019 at 6:55 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"Doesn't our City Council have more important issues to "Mull Over"?"

Of course they do. This just allows them to pretend they are "doing something" about a "problem" that doesn't really exist. Thus allowing them to tell their constituents that they've been doing something to justify their existence.


Like this comment
Posted by Mark L
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 19, 2019 at 4:28 pm

Why are decisions like this made based on city staff recommendations? Why don't they survey residents or hire high-priced consultants like they usually do before making stupid decisions?


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 19, 2019 at 8:35 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"Why are decisions like this made based on city staff recommendations?"

They're paying that staff a lot of money. Have to use them for something.


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