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Revised county marijuana ordinance goes into effect Sept. 12

Sheriff John Anderson announced that starting Friday, Sept. 12, 2014 Madera County’s revised marijuana ordinance goes into effect. After working with both Anderson and County Counsel, the Madera County Board of Supervisors passed an amended ordinance, which states that all marijuana growers caught out of compliance will be fined $250 per plant; and those cited, will be ordered to abate by the end of the day, on the same day they are fined.

If after being cited, authorities discover the plants are still being grown illegally, the $250 per plant penalty will be multiplied for every day the plants remain in the ground.

Below are Madera County’s Regulations for Medical Marijuana Cultivation & Growing Laws:

Findings and purpose

It is the purpose and intent of this chapter pursuant to Government Code Section 25123(d) to regulate the cultivation of medical marijuana in order to preserve the public peace, health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of Madera County. The provisions of this section are applicable in all areas of the county. The board of supervisors adopts the findings for the need for the medical marijuana cultivation ordinance contained in Resolution No. 2012-049 as though fully set forth.

Relationship to other laws

This chapter is not intended to, nor shall it be construed or given effect in a manner that causes it to apply to, any activity that is regulated by federal or state law to the extent that application of this chapter would conflict with such law or would unduly interfere with the achievement of federal or state regulatory purposes. It is the intention of the board that this chapter shall be interpreted to be compatible and consistent with federal, county, and state enactments and in furtherance of the public purposes which those enactments express. It is the intention that the provisions of this chapter will supersede any other provisions of this code found to be in conflict.

Definitions

For purposes of this chapter, these words and phrases shall be defined as follows:

"County" means the county of Madera or the unincorporated area of the county of Madera as required by the context.

"Cultivate" or "cultivation" is the planting, growing, harvesting, drying, processing, or storage of one or more marijuana plants or any part thereof in any location.

"Marijuana" shall have the same definition as in California Health and Safety Code Section 11018 as it now reads or as amended.

"Medical marijuana" means marijuana used for medical purposes in accordance with California Health and Safety Code Sections 11362.7 et seq.

"Primary caregiver" shall have the same definition as in California Health and Safety Code Section 11362.7 et seq. as it now reads or as amended.

"Property owner" is the title holder of real property within Madera County.

"Qualified patient" shall have the same definition as California Health and Safety Code Section 1362.7 et seq. as it now reads or as amended.

Medical marijuana cultivation regulations

Medical marijuana cultivation on any one parcel of real property is limited to one of the following areas:

One room within a single family dwelling that does not exceed one hundred twenty square feet.

One detached, outdoor structure, enclosed and covered, where the cultivation is concealed from view, and where the cultivation area does not exceed one hundred twenty square feet.

Cultivation is not permitted within commercial or industrial zone districts.

Cultivation may only be conducted by the owner or a tenant with the consent of the owner of the subject property.

Cultivation may not occur within two thousand feet of an institutional use, such as, but not limited to, a church, school, or other public building.

The primary caregiver or qualified patient must reside at the subject property where cultivation occurs.

Prohibited medical marijuana cultivation declared a public nuisance

The establishment, maintenance, or operation of any prohibited cultivation of medical marijuana, in excess of one hundred twenty square foot area as defined in this chapter, within the county, is declared to be a public nuisance and subject to immediate removal and abatement. Such removal shall include all growing marijuana at the site except that contained in the one hundred twenty square foot area specified in Section 18.87.040. Each person or responsible party in violation is subject to misdemeanor prosecution as provided in Chapter 1.12, and all other applicable laws.

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