As California moves close to the Jan. 1 start of legal use of recreational marijuana, there will be no sales in Yountville, or outdoor cultivation of the plant, just yet.
Looking ahead to the start of lawful non-medical cannabis use starting Jan. 1, the Town Council last week decided against immediate changes in its local ordinances, at least for now. An existing ban on marijuana dispensaries will stay in place, and cultivation for personal use remains limited to the six-plant maximum – only inside a residence – already protected by state law.
However, council members who unanimously passed the ordinance promised residents it will be mainly a placeholder until the town can schedule a public round-table discussion to guide how it eventually regulates the sale, zoning and delivery of marijuana-based products.
A forum could take place as soon as January, only a few weeks after Proposition 64, passed by voters in 2016, makes non-medical pot consumption legal in the state.
“I want to make clear: This is not a ‘no’ to anything we do not consider tonight,” Councilwoman Kerri Dorman told a near-capacity Town Hall audience. “This is not a full stop on the process. Tonight is still the very beginning of the conversation for us, as a community and as council members.
“We need to do it right, and do it right the first time. And that is going to take some time and community input.”
Dorman’s colleague, Jeffrey Durham, assured local cannabis users of his support for a legal path to marijuana growing and sales, but wanted Yountville to enter the process as well informed as possible – with the broadest range of voices.
“I’m in support of personal cultivation, commercial cultivation, the