New recommendations for Shasta medical marijuana gardens


REDDING, Calif. - Shasta County planning commissioners agreed on a recommendation laying out the rules for medical marijuana grows.

Supervisor Les Baugh, however, doesn't think it's strict enough.

"My desire has not changed from five years ago. I still support a complete outdoor ban on growing medical marijuana," said Baugh.

It's the third meeting about marijuana cultivation in Shasta County. There have been two public hearings about the controversial topic already.

Public officials were already concerned, but an investigative report by KRCR News Channel 7's Mike Mangas, showed a flyover of massive marijuana crops across the county in a ride-along with drug agents late last summer, helped convince the Shasta County Board of Supervisors their existing ordinance wasn't strict enough.

Now, the Planning Commission has a new recommendation ready to send to the Board of Supervisors.

Rules for indoor growing:

Growing marijuana in a residence is prohibited; marijuana has to be grown in a detached structure with an odor filtration system. Growing outdoors is allowed only on land zoned for: limited agriculture, exclusive agriculture, timberland, or unclassified. The land has to be larger than 10 acres, with no more than 12 plants on 20 acres or less, and no more than 24 plants on 20 acres or more. The plants have to be surrounded by a solid fence that's tall enough to keep the plants from view. All plants must be grown at least 150 feet from any waterway.

Several medical marijuana users and advocates spoke during open comment at Thursday's meeting.

"When the doctor gives you a prescription, you don't expect to have to spend ten grand on a glorified tool shed."

Another woman said she "will no longer have access to quality affordable healthcare and medicine."

Those convicted of violating the law, if it's approved, would warrant a misdemeanor.

The recommendation should come before the Board of Supervisors for a vote by the end of January.