The Ferndale City Council is working to enact restrictions on commercial cannabis activities, ban outdoor cultivation and require permits for indoor personal cultivation within city limits.
Last Wednesday, the council introduced and discussed an ordinance that would regulate recreational marijuana activities. It was not a first reading, just a discussion — ordinances and amendments are required to be read twice during separate public meetings with public comment periods before final approval and another 30 days before the law goes into effect, Ferndale City Manager Jay Parrish said Monday.
“We want to get something on the books,” he said in reference to the wording in Adult Use of Marijuana Act that allows local jurisdictions to pass laws to reasonably regulate recreational marijuana before New Year’s Day 2018 when state laws would apply if no locals laws were enacted.
Similar to what the Fortuna, Rio Dell, Trinidad and Blue Lake city councils are considering, this ordinance bans any commercial marijuana businesses or outdoor cultivation within city limits and would enforce a permitting process for people who want to grow six legal personal plants indoors, Parrish said. But this might not be the end of marijuana in Ferndale, he suggested.
“When the dust settles a little bit … we’ll have a better grasp of everything and we can change our ordinance any way we’d like,” Parrish said.
He said this approach might save the city from dealing with the possible boom and bust of the marijuana economy as the industry moves out of the black market.
Parrish said he believes the ordinance reflects the comments on marijuana he’s heard from Ferndale residents and the current city council members.
“I think it’s as protectionist as we can be,” he said.
This reporter reached out to additional Ferndale City Council members for comment but didn’t