Office of the CityManager
For Immediate Release
Lauren Pettipiece,Communications Analyst
Saratoga City Council Prohibits Commercial Sales
and Outdoor Cultivation of MarijuanaOnJune 7, 2017, the Saratoga City Council adopted an ordinance prohibitingcommercial marijuana activities and the outdoor cultivation of marijuana withinthe City of Saratoga. Adoption of the ordinance comes before the State isexpected to begin issuing licenses for commercial marijuana activities inJanuary 2018. “Theordinance, which will prohibit commercial sales and outdoor cultivation ofmarijuana, can help reduce risks of criminal activities and environmental hazards,”said Saratoga Mayor Emily Lo. “This ordinance will help eliminate any nuisancesassociated with the legalization of recreational marijuana, which Californiavoters approved during the last election in November 2016. Our ordinance actsin the interest of protecting public safety in our community.” Followingthe passage of Proposition 64 in November 2016, the City Council initiallyadopted an urgency ordinance to prohibit all outdoor cultivation of marijuana.The urgency ordinance was subsequently extended and set to expire in October2018. This new ordinance makes the ban on outdoor cultivation permanent andexpands on existing regulations in the Saratoga City Code to prohibit allcommercial activity related to marijuana rather than only medical marijuanadispensaries. Thisstep is expected to eliminate public safety and health risks associated withoutdoor cultivation and commercial marijuana activities. Outdoor grow sites canbecome an attractive nuisance that increase the risk of burglary, trespassing,or robbery. Furthermore, outdoor cultivation is often associated with chemicaland pesticide use that can be harmful to people and the environment. Becausemany marijuana business must operate largely on a cash-only basis, commercialoperations have become targets for theft as well. Both Washington and Coloradoalso saw increases in marijuana-related traffic fatalities after legalizationof recreational marijuana.
Additionally,both the ban on commercial activity and outdoor cultivation align with theCity’s efforts to protect youth from smoking. In recent years, the City ofSaratoga has systematically updated its tobacco policies to protect minors andreduce overall exposure to secondhand smoke. The ordinance supports this effortby reducing opportunities for people under 21 to obtain marijuana, and therebypreventing youth access to marijuana. SARATOGA CITY HALL 13777 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga CA95070 Phone: (408) 868-1216 Fax: (408) 867-8559 Web:www.saratoga.ca.us