Porterville may adjust its medical marijuana ordinance


Right now the city of Porterville just has a simple medical marijuana ordinance prohibiting dispensaries. Now city officials are weighing the options of allowing dispensaries and allowing people to grow marijuana.

Pot has been the center of headaches and crime scenes for officials in Tulare County and Visalia, but one municipality that hasn't seen a huge lot of crimes from medical marijuana is Porterville. Now, the City Council is considering expanding its current ordinance which right now restricts dispensaries.

"The city of Porterville has been deliberating in terms of how it would modify its ordinance, perhaps to allow dispensaries, and the City Council is interested in receiving more information about what a regulatory process would look like for that," said Porterville City Manager John Lollis.

Right now strict ordinances are in place in both Visalia and Tulare County, banning either the outdoor growing of plants as well as the formation of cooperatives and collectives, which provide medical marijuana to people who have a doctor's recommendation.

Since growing is restricted in the county areas that surround the city of Porterville, council members are looking at formulating rules for people who are growing within the city limits.

"Limiting growth just indoors, could be in an outbuilding or greenhouse type structure, or just outdoor grow in general. In the city right now we have all three of those types of grows occurring," said Lollis.

One option council members have discussed is limiting the number of plants that can be grown to 16, and providing rules for how and where you can grow medical marijuana.

As for dispensaries, council members are concerned about where the dispensary would be located and how it would grow its marijuana. It would likely take more than 16 plants to run a dispensary.

"And so we would also be looking at permitting and regulating a certain number of grow sites where a specific amount of product would be grown to be able to supply the dispensary," said John Lollis.

The City Council will talk further about their medical marijuana ordinance sometime in May.

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