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Smoking Weed Banned In Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale City Hall. Photo:

WHEREAS, the City Council desires to update the marijuana regulations in the Sunnyvale Municipal Code to maintain the City’s existing prohibition on commercial marijuana activities, and expressly make clear, in light of passage of the [Adult Use of Marijuana] AUMA, that all such uses (whether medical or recreational) continue to be prohibited in all zones throughout the City, preserve local control over such uses, and protect the public from the health and safety risks described above;

so declares Sunnyvale’s ordinance criminalizing as much cannabis-related industry and consumption as allowable under California state law, adopted unanimously on September 26.

The ordinance laughably intends to prohibit even smoking cannabis in your own home. That’s right, legally, you either only vaporize or consume edibles. Deliveries of cannabis are theoretically banned as well, so you have to go get it yourself. But the city enforces neither provision, and both are widely flouted.

While neighboring cities Santa Clara and Mountain View are actively courting the cannabis industry by exploring the permitting of dispensaries in commercial districts, Sunnyvale remains to committed to banning, in theory, all cultivation, manufacture, testing, distribution, and retail sales of all cannabis products.

The ordinance wildly declares that any commercial activity related to cannabis, even the delivery of medical cannabis, “poses a current threat to the public health, safety, and welfare in the City due to the negative impacts described above.” Some of the claimed impacts are outright lies.

“Several California cities and cities in states that have legalized recreational marijuana have reported negative impacts of marijuana cultivation, processing and distribution activities, including offensive odors, illegal sales and distribution of marijuana, trespassing, theft, violent robberies and robbery attempts, fire hazards, and problems associated with mold, fungus, and pests,” declares Sunnyvale’s ordinance. Classic fearmongering. Since permitting and regulation in 2015, San Jose’s 16 cannabis dispensaries haven’t suffered a single instance of burglary or breaking and entering.

Also on September 26, Santa Clara’s City Council approved a plan to hire a consultant to assess the market and appropriate regulations for permitting dispensaries in the city. On September 19 the Mountain View City Council expressed a desire to permit dispensaries as well, although city staff advised that shouldn’t happen until after the November 2018 elections because a local sales tax can’t be placed on cannabis sales without voter approval.