By Derrick Stanley
The Sacramento City Council voted late Tuesday night after much debate, approving an ordinance allowing the licensed cultivation of marijuana within the city limits.
The meeting was well attended by local residents, who joined council members in the debate.
The ordinance passed by a 5-3 vote, and will allow growers to apply for conditional use licenses to legally grow cannabis in the city.
The ordinance passage comes less than a month after Proposition 64 was passed by California voters, making recreational marijuana use legal for adults over 21.
Councilman Jay Schenirer created the ordinance and urged other council members to approve the plan, saying it was a necessary step needed to ensure the city regulated the industry and protected local communities.
“What we are doing I think, is choosing to be responsible,” Schenirer said. “Choosing to regulate an industry that currently exists, and as some of the speakers said, is not going away.”
Council members Allen Warren, Angelique Ashby and Jeff Harris made up the three "no" votes, with Harris calling the plan "half-baked". They called for more detailed criteria about where cultivation businesses would be allowed.
“I just don’t see this equation turning out well for the communities across our city,” Ashby said.