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Marijuana Ban Adopted By Council
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With a unanimous roll call vote of five to zero, the City Council of Riverbank elected to ban the outdoor cultivation of marijuana and marijuana dispensaries in the city.

Council members had some unfinished business at a recent Tuesday session, where they revisited the topic of the Adoption of Proposed Ordinance No. 2016-001 amending the Riverbank Municipal Code by repealing in its entirety Chapter 120: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban of Title XI: Business Regulations and substituting it with a New Chapter 120: Ban On Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and Commercial and Outdoor Marijuana Cultivation, as listed on the agenda.

There was a public hearing on Dec. 8 at a regular City Council meeting where public opinion was welcomed on the issue of the proposed Ordinance.

The summary of the agenda item states, Proposed Ordinance No. 2016-001 amends Chapter 120, Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban of Title XI, Business Regulations of the Riverbank Municipal Code (“R.M.C.”), to create Section 120.02, Regulation of Commercial and Outdoor Medical Marijuana Cultivation. The Ordinance is proposed in response to recently adopted state laws known as the California Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (“MMRSA”). In compliance with MMRSA, the proposed Ordinance would prohibit commercial cannabis activities and the outdoor cultivation of marijuana within city limits of the City of Riverbank (“City”). By enacting the proposed Ordinance, the City will maintain local control over the regulation of marijuana cultivation within the City.

“We feel that the state wanting to dictate the local controls if we did nothing are not consistent with our goals,” stated Mayor Richard O’Brien. “Once a solid plan is available with adequate controls we will be pleased to revisit it.”

City Manager Jill Anderson explained that the indoor cultivation is consistent with state law for personal use, which is allowed with medical authorization.

With zero comments at the second hearing and only one written request to not prohibit marijuana dispensaries, the ordinance was adopted. The new ordinance will take effect in mid-February.