July 30, 2018 -- "You have the entire nation in one community." That's what Paul Junker, of Michael Baker International, told an audience at an opt-out cannabis meeting in Ukiah. He'd been to Covelo and Laytonville in the North County, Mitchell Creek on the coast, and Ukiah in two days, meeting with people who had widely divergent ideas about how to customize cannabis cultivation rules in their communities.
KZYX went to the first meeting in Covelo, where almost everyone was dissatisfied with the "opt in" proposal to allow the continuation of cannabis cultivation on a few parcels that are set to wind down operations in 2020, under the "sunset provision" of the current ordinance. We also attended the last meeting in Ukiah, where community members from Woody Glenn and Deerwood who wanted to "opt out" were pleased to hear that commercial cannabis cultivation would be banned in their neighborhoods.
The proposed overlay zones, which would provide small-scale exceptions to zoning regulations laid out in the cannabis cultivation ordinance, are months away from coming before the planning commission. Then they have to come before the Board of Supervisors, before they can become local law.
Let's take a mini audio tour of Mendocino County's changing cannabis policy.