Tomorrow the Planning Commission will host a public hearing on the proposed cannabis regulations for unincorporated Riverside County. Of primary concern to many existing operators is the exclusion of the Rural Residential zoned properties. There are hundreds of environmentally conscious, sustainable growers in unincorporated Riverside and this move, albeit expected, by the planning commission to recommend that any area with “residential” attached to it be excluded from engaging in commercial cannabis activities does nothing to drive out the black market or promote the legal market in California. Moreover, because they chose to ban all outdoor cultivation, requiring all cultivation to take place on agricultural land makes absolutely no sense. You can read the proposed ordinance here. If you are available, please make sure to attend the meeting and show your support for those businesses that want to be legal. You can also read some of the public comments that have already been submitted here. Apparently there was a good deal of backlash from the community with purportedly 1,000 form letters submitted in opposition to expanding commercial cannabis activities in unincorporated Riverside. You can read some of those letters here.
Here is a tip for those who chose to attend: when presenting to a planning commission, keep in mind that their focus is narrow: land use. Arguments about legalization generally and fairness to those who have built this industry up are not going to be persuasive with the planning commission. And, be nice. The planning commission is a panel of near-volunteers (we haven’t checked, but typically they receive a small stipend for attending meetings, like $50) and if you intend to present an application or development agreement to them in the future, it is best not to burn your bridges.
Riverside County Planning Commission Public Hearing
Wednesday, June 20, 2018, AT 9:00 AM
Fist Floor Board Members
4080 Lemon Street, Riverside, CA 92801