New City ordinance prohibits outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana

In June 2012, City Council approved a new ordinance regulating the cultivation of medical marijuana.  The purpose was not to infringe on the rights of authorized medical marijuana patients to grow marijuana, nor to give anyone new rights to grow marijuana unless they’re already authorized growers (patients with a doctor’s recommendation, or their caretakers) under the state’s Compassionate Use law.  The City's ordinance was enacted in order to protect the health and safety of surrounding neighbors, allowing residents to enjoy their own property without being subjected to odors and safety concerns associated with outdoor medical marijuana cultivation.

City Council authorized a grace period so that authorized medical marijuana growers could harvest their existing crops.  That grace period is ending, and the new ordinance is enforceable starting November 1.  Here are some important facts about the new ordinance:

  •  All outdoor, open-air cultivation of medical marijuana is now illegal within the city limits of Roseville.
  • Growing marijuana to supply or sell to others is illegal, unless you're a caretaker as defined by California's Compassionate Use law, providing medical marijuana for an authorized medical marijuana patient.
  • Medical marijuana may only be cultivated by authorized growers in Roseville indoors, and only under the following circumstances:
    • The medical marijuana must be grown at the authorized grower's (patient's or caretaker's) primary residence.
    • The medical marijuana must be grown in a fully enclosed and secure structure, with a foundation, solid walls, a solid roof and locking doors.  A plastic sheeting-type greenhouse does not meet this requirement.
    • Indoor cultivation areas must be no more than 50 square feet in area, and no taller than ten feet, unless the authorized grower gets permission for a larger grow from the City's Building Division.
    • The indoor growing area must meet all state and city building code requirements.
    • Lighting for the cultivation area must not exceed 1200 watts in total.
    • For safety reasons, no gas products like CO2 or butane may be used for cultivation or processing.
    • The cultivation must be undetectable by anyone in the public right-of-way.  In other words, people who live in the neighborhood, and people walking past the authorized grower's house should not be able to see marijuana plants through a window, smell marijuana odors, or detect any other signs that marijuana is being grown on the property.
  • Complaints about violations of the ordinance will be handled by the City's Code Enforcement inspectors.  Usually the inspectors will first issue a warning to remove outdoor plants, or otherwise bring a medical-marijuana cultivation into compliance with the City's ordinance.   If the problem isn't corrected, then the code enforcement inspectors may issue citations.  Ongoing uncorrected violations will be handled as public nuisances, meaning that code enforcement inspectors may, after due legal process, go onto the property to remove illegal cultivations.
  • The Roseville Police Department will continue to investigate complaints about marijuana sales, or about possession by anyone other than authorized medical marijuana patients and caregivers, as criminal violations.

Authorized medical marijuana growers with questions about how to comply with the new ordinance, or residents who wish to make a complaint about violations may call the City's Code Enforcement Division at 774-5501.