Home Brentwood Brentwood Updates Marijuana Ban, Prohibits Cultivation, Dispensaries and Deliveries

Brentwood Updates Marijuana Ban, Prohibits Cultivation, Dispensaries and Deliveries

by ECT

On Tuesday, the Brentwood City Council voted unanimously to prohibit marijuana cultivation, dispensaries and deliveries within the City of Brentwood.

The city now joins Contra Costa County, along with the cities of Antioch and Pittsburg with also have a prohibition of marijuana cultivation, dispensaries and deliveries within city limits. Meanwhile, Oakley has a similar ordinance, however they opted to allow deliveries within city limits.

By law, however, neither the county, nor city ordinances may prevent people from growing up to six-plants in their home residents.

Damien Brower, City Attorney, explained how Brentwood currently has policies in place that ensure the maximum local control allowed under State Law  which prohibited marijuana cultivation, dispensaries and deliveries within the City of Brentwood.

Similar to the 2016 ordinances, the ordinance before the council which regulates land use and personal use (behavior), the proposed changes also aim to ensure the most local control possible under state law while accounting for Proposition 64.

“The two ordinances update the terminology  update definitions put in with Proposition 64 and continue to prohibit marijuana cultivation with the exception of the indoor cultivation of 6-plants, prohibit medical marijuana facilities and continue to prohibit most deliveries,” explained Brower. “Much of this is continuation of the rules that are already in place.”

Councilwoman Karen Rarey encouraged the Ordinance be passed to maintain local control, she noted a lot of the data was outdated and there had been reversals from original opinions

“I’d like us to ask staff if they could conduct a white paper of our own including the pros and cons of cultivation, the manufacturing of cannabis, products within our city limits and what other jurisdictions are doing and how what those jurisdictions are doing impact us,” stated Rarey. “There is a lot of tax incentives or income to be made. In 2020, the State of California will generate $7.6 billion in revenue from the sale of cannabis. We need to look into what planning and permitting would be, what the tax and compliance would be. There is a lot of things we don’t have answered here.”

Vice Mayor Joel Bryant added he would like the City to gather information from the State of Colorado.

“I’d like to be made aware of the pros and cons, the costs, the medical costs and enforcement costs. As well as the other unintended effects it has had in implementing this,” said Bryant. “I have a lot of concerns, I will say in our city; one of my greatest concerns is that it is a cash only business. It’s against Federal Law, the State of California has approved its limited supply, in the city of Brentwood we have already had some very violent interactions of people who had illegal grows.”

Bryant added the City has experienced break ins and people pistol whipping people.

“I would like more information as to what the pros and cons are and we have a good resource in the State of Colorado,” said Bryant.

Mayor Taylor suggested they would take up the “white paper” issue at a future meeting.

The council then voted 5-0 to approve the ordinance. No one from the public spoke on the item.

Here is a look at the language in the Brentwood Staff Report:

An ordinance of the City Council of the City of Brentwood repealing chapter
17.780 (Medical Marijuana Facilities) and replacing it in its entirety with a new Chapter 17.780 (Marijuana Facilities and Cultivation) of the Brentwood Municipal Code to prohibit marijuana cultivation, dispensaries and deliveries within the City of Brentwood; and a related Ordinance of the City of Brentwood repealing Brentwood Municipal Code Chapter 9.50 (Medical Marijuana Facilities) and replacing it in its entirety with new Brentwood Municipal Code Chapter 9.50 (Marijuana Facilities and Cultivation)

Current Ordinances under the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act
On October 9, 2015, Governor Brown signed into law three related bills pertaining to the regulation of marijuana; AB 243, AB 266 and SB 643. These bills are collectively known as the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MCRSA”)1. The MCRSA creates a joint regulation and permitting scheme comprised of state law and local ordinances, governing the cultivation, testing, and distribution of medical marijuana, and physician recommendations for medical marijuana. MCRSA is intended to govern all commercial cannabis activities, which are defined as “cultivation, possession, manufacture, processing, storing, laboratory testing, labeling, transporting, distribution, or sale of medical cannabis or a medical cannabis product.” Under MCRSA, all medical marijuana businesses, or commercial cannabis activities, must have both a state license and local permit, license, or other authorization in order to operate lawfully within California. (Bus. & Prof. Code § 19320(a).)

As required by the MCRSA to maintain some degree of local control over medical marijuana regulation, the City adopted two ordinances on January 26, 2016. (See BMC Chapters 9.50 and 17.780.) These ordinances prohibit “commercial cannabis activities,” which are defined under State law as medical marijuana businesses that require a state licenses under MCRSA, including medical marijuana manufacturers, distributors, transporters, and testing laboratories. In addition to commercial cannabis activities, the ordinances prohibit marijuana cultivation, dispensaries and deliveries (except for those deliveries made by a primary caregiver to his or
her qualified patients) within city limits.

The AUMA states expressly that “marijuana is an agricultural product.” (Bus. & Prof. Code § 26067(a).) In addition, the AUMA specifically describes recreational marijuana dispensaries as “retailers.” (Bus. & Prof. Code § 26070.) In Brentwood, agricultural land uses and retail uses are permitted by right in certain zoning districts; therefore, maintaining the current prohibitions on commercial marijuana activities and personal cultivation of marijuana to the extent allowable under the AUMA will require express provisions in the Municipal Code. The proposed ordinances include such provisions in two key policy areas: commercial marijuana activities and personal cultivation

Commercial Marijuana Activities
The proposed ordinances maintain the City’s existing prohibition against medical marijuana dispensaries, commercial cannabis activities, and marijuana cultivation facilities. In addition, the ordinances extend the current prohibition to cover the recreational marijuana businesses now recognized under the AUMA. Under the new ordinances, the City would continue to prohibit all commercial marijuana businesses throughout the City.

Personal Cultivation
BMC § 9.50.040 and § 17.780.040 currently prohibit all marijuana cultivation in the City, including private indoor and outdoor cultivation. The proposed ordinances continue this policy regarding private marijuana cultivation to the extent allowable under the AUMA, which provides that cities can no longer completely ban indoor cultivation of six marijuana plants or fewer. Cities may impose reasonable safety regulations, however, and the attached revision of both § 17.780.040 and § 9.50.040 require compliance with specific restrictions related to safety. Both proposed sections of the Code provide as follows: No person or entity may cultivate marijuana at any location in the City, except that a person may cultivate marijuana plants inside his or her private residence, or inside an accessory structure to his or her private residence located upon the grounds of that private residence that is fully enclosed and secured against unauthorized entry, provided that the owner of the property provides written consent expressly allowing the marijuana cultivation to occur, the person conducting the marijuana cultivation complies with all applicable Building Code requirements set forth in Title 8 of the Municipal Code, there is no use of gas products (including, but not limited to CO2, butane, propane, and natural gas) on the property for purposes of marijuana cultivation, and the marijuana cultivation complies with Health and Safety Code section 11362.2(a)(3). Not more than six living plants may be planted, cultivated, harvested, dried, or processed within a single private residence, or upon the grounds of that private residence, at one time

As noted above, these ordinances contain virtually identical provisions. The difference is that the Zoning Ordinance under Title 17 regulates the use of land and will generally be enforced by Code Enforcement, while the Title 9 Ordinance regulates personal behavior and will generally be enforced by the Police Department.

It should be noted that there are some tax incentives built into the AUMA to legalize recreational and medical marijuana dispensaries within a city’s borders. Cities that do allow such dispensaries in their jurisdictions will, for example, receive a share of the revenue generated by state taxes on marijuana sales. Cities may also impose their own taxes on such sales.

It cannot, however, be demonstrated that the tax revenues associated with such sales would exceed the cost of enforcing the regulations and laws associated with such sales. Marijuana sales for both medical and recreational use remain illegal under Federal Law. As such, banks are effectively prohibited from participating in marijuana businesses in the State. Marijuana businesses remain cash-only, and transactions are difficult to track for the purposes or taxation.

Should these ordinances be introduced and adopted, the City Council is not precluded from revisiting this issue after more information is known about their impacts on cities that permit such activities, in whole or in part.

You may also like


Bill Williams Sep 27, 2017 - 6:28 pm

Hypocrites. No devils lettuce in Brentwood, but let’s promote beer and wine festivals year round! Alcohol related deaths from investing to driving are astonishing. Withdrawals from alcohol can even kill you. But oh yea anything you can be pistol whipped for should be illegal. Ban cell phones and jewelry out of Brentwood next!

datadriven Sep 27, 2017 - 8:16 pm

lol. weed brings a different crowd. more violent by 10x. common sense

MT Sep 27, 2017 - 8:39 pm

Yeah, stoners are so much more violent than the guy that just consumed a bunch of beers or shots. Ask any cop who they’d rather deal with – the aggressive drunk or the laid-back stoner.

Julio Sep 28, 2017 - 6:22 pm

All the officers I know, and my son was an officer , do not want to mess with anyone on marijuana. These guys speeding and cutting in and out on our freeways are mostly stoned and will kill someone. I feel bad for what these officers are dealing with.

yourdataiscorrupted Sep 28, 2017 - 11:33 am

That was often said about booze and it was especially true while it was illegal/during prohibition. One of the council folks referenced “violent interactions” with people operating “illegal grows”. Duh. Prohibition means it’s an enterprise more likely to have career criminals engage in due to a resale value enhanced by the illegality of it. It also means that the kind of people who will undertake that enterprise, will often be the kind of people willing to break other laws too. In an environment where it’s legal, the resale value eventually comes down, and users of the drug tend to do business with non-criminal elements, as there is just far lower personal risk to them. When was the last time you heard of an alcoholic trying to score some booze from a mafia run speak easy?

All that being said, the small locality of this prohibition on the eve of what is likely to be a fairly rapid statewide growth of legal sales channels, means Brentwood will probably benefit from the statewide legalization in terms of disempowering criminal enterprises, as there really isn’t a cost benefit to be had in setting up a grow operation in a city where they’re banned, when you can do it not too far away without fear of local law enforcement.

Prohibition has failed this country miserably. No matter how well meaning the people who have supported and continue to support it might be, the use numbers as well as the criminal profit numbers(both domestically and internationally) over DECADES overwhelmingly point to a failure of epic proportions.

We need a return to reason… just having an issue with people doing something should not be enough justification to make laws against it. Just having valid concerns about public safety should not be enough to support laws if those laws have a long history of creating a net public endangerment effect. We need to analyze what the results of our laws have been, and ask ourselves whether the outcomes we’ve gotten from them is really what we want.

Do we really want to be number 1 among the industrialized nations for having the largest percentage of our population incarcerated? Doesn’t exactly support the notion of this being the “Land of the Free”. Do we really like how our prohibition has created powerful narco syndicates around the world(including funding terrorist organizations), while use has largely grown here at home since the start of it? Do we like how gangs here in the US are able to easily afford their weapons with very little work peddling products that have enhanced resale value due to prohibition? I guarantee you gang members aren’t buying their guns with money they make mowing lawns or flipping burgers.

Cec Sep 28, 2017 - 8:51 am

Safe decision, however, this is not a dead issue, more to come!! To much revenue (taxes) to collect (or pass on) and how to best control a legalized market. A white paper is a good next step.

MK Ultra Sep 28, 2017 - 9:36 am

Come to Brentwood, where everyone is still living in the past. Come shop at our endless department stores. Go to one of our many churches. Even come drive the speed limit after enjoying some local wine. Life is better when your head is in the sand ?? Brentwood, yay!! Where all your dimwitted Nixon-era dreams can finally come to life again!

Jennifer Sep 28, 2017 - 6:17 pm

All these people that are so into getting high crack me up. Wait….maybe it’s the medicinal benefits they are after? Ha ha ha ha.

Melanie Sep 28, 2017 - 8:40 pm

Comparing marijuana to alcohol is asinine. They’re both dangerous. One will get you drunk and the other will get you high. Don’t get behind the wheel if you’re under the influence of anything. Common sense.

Dmitri Sep 28, 2017 - 8:51 pm

Looks like Melanie needs a lesson on neurology and endocrinology. Even sober drivers can have temporary moments of psychosis- ever heard of “road rage”. Its quite pathetic that in 2017 we have leaders in the community still naive to the benefits of cannabis. Even though it is not for everyone and not a miracle drug, stop acting like it doesn’t help people. We all self medicate and all use something to get through the daily afflictions. Comparing the two is not asinine, alcohol is FAR more dangerous than alcohol.

e9w5 Sep 28, 2017 - 10:03 pm

it’s great to see people compare booze to pot, go ask your teenage kid what’s easier to get their hands on a bag or weed or some liquor. not to mention booze ruins lives and family’s. let them have their pot and hang out in a garage and eat a fucking snickers. regulation also insures purity and making sure there weed is safe and not laced

Melanie Sep 29, 2017 - 12:16 pm

Weed is laced all the time – including PCP. That’s the main thing that makes weed more dangerous than most people realize. Do you really think PCP isn’t dangerous? ALL drugs are dangerous – legal or illegal. Alcohol is dangerous too. Comparing alcohol to weed is comparing apples to oranges, and it’s asinine.


e9w5 Sep 29, 2017 - 1:51 pm

thanks for emphasizing my point, if there is laced product that is regulated and tested it takes away the threat of it being laced. if there is gov regulation it insures other things can’t be included hence you don’t get bad alcohol because it is publicly sold and regulated. saying all weed is laced is like saying all alcohol is ruffied.

Weng Fun Sep 29, 2017 - 3:36 pm

Omg Melanie did you really bring up PCP? Looks like your education stopped in the 1990’s. Get with the times. Cannabis is lab tested stringently. Not everyone gets it from the streets anymore.

Melanie Sep 29, 2017 - 7:31 pm

KIDS get it from the streets EVERY DAY. I’m not worried about mature adults. Don’t be ignorant and naïve.

Weng Fun – I hope you don’t have children.

Nick Sep 28, 2017 - 10:23 pm

Hey Dimitri – “alcohol is far more dangerous than alcohol?” As usual – you’re not making any sense.

What does road rage have to do with alcohol or drugs? Road rage happens when people don’t know how to control their aggression. That can happen whether you’re sober or not. It’s not “psychosis.” That’s an EXCUSE.

I can’t speak for Melanie, but I know how to read. If she’s talking about getting behind the wheel, she’s referring to people partying – not cancer patients. There’s a big difference.

And, no, you shouldn’t drive stoned, drunk or anything else. Drive sober.


MK Ultra Sep 29, 2017 - 12:53 pm

The comment section of eastcounty today.net is the perfect place to see firsthand the lunacy of America’s anti-scientific, pro-police-state, mass brainwashed, replicant mindset currently sweeping the land. Cannabis has coevolved with humanity for millinia, and people are still fussing about it as if it just arrived on the scene? We are becoming more and more pathetic in the eyes of the world. FYI, If your opinions start to match those of the ruling elites, pro-police-military personnel, and societal control freaks, chances are your mind has been co-opted by the master brainwashers. This whole site is crawling with replicants. Beware of all these self-entitled, law abiding, sober sallies, hypocritically swallowing their socially-accepted drugs and sanctioned mindsets. Peace

Comments are closed.