Can you grow Marijuana in San Diego?

At the end of 2015, Governor Brown signed a bill called the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), which regulate how marijuana is to be grown, transported, and sold throughout California for medical purposes. Although medical marijuana has been legal in California for almost twenty years, up until now cities face adversity in figuring out how to regulate it, and patients have faced uncertainty on what is allowed and what isn’t. The new measures are designed to regulate and standardize the handling of medical marijuana statewide. The MMRSA is purposed to legitimize the medical marijuana industry, and pave the way for the likely legalization of the recreational use of marijuana in 2017.

What is the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act?

The MMRSA creates a new state bureau, whose role it is to collect fees from marijuana businesses and issue licenses. As part of the new law, the marijuana industry is switching over to a commercial-based one, rather than the nonprofit model it has followed to date. The MMRSA provides much needed clarity to San Diegans in the cannabis industry and who hold medical marijuana cards. One of the biggest changes brought by the MMRSA surrounds the cultivation of marijuana. The new law also requires product testing, and prompts more hesitant jurisdictions to permit cultivation and dispensaries by allowing them to levy taxes and collect fees.

Marijuana Cultivation

Cultivating medical marijuana is now allowed and regulated within the city of San Diego, for the first time in history. This is a direct result of the MMRSA, and is a blessing to many San Diegans who fear being on the wrong side of the law. San Diego’s Deputy City Attorney Shannon Thomas issued a memo in January 2016 describing various methods that San Diego can implement to regulate the cultivation of marijuana, including new zoning regulations that include marijuana, or just permission to grow it in so-called “agricultural zones”.  The city of San Diego will regulate cultivation going forward, not the state.

OutCo Laboratory in El Cajon, California

Outco Laboratory, which survived the two year vetting process and was granted a permit in January of this year, has been granted a building permit in an industrial area of El Cajon. This is its likely future cultivation spot, as the 15,000 square foot laboratory is located in an industrial park, right behind Gillespie Field. OutCo is a collective, meaning it is allowed to grow marijuana on behalf of its 7,000 members.

Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney to Help

For medical marijuana patients in San Diego, approved cultivation is a major step out of the shadows and towards buying regulated and tested medicine in an approved fashion. Advocates of medical marijuana welcomed this idea of approved cultivation as a huge step forward, both for growers and patients. For the former, it would help them lift the feeling of being secretive. On the latter’s part, it is a way for them to know where their marijuana is coming from and to test its quality. If you have any questions about your legal rights related to marijuana possession, use, or cultivation, call Alex Ozols, owner of the Ozols Law Firm for a free consultation.