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California: Santa Cruz County Referendum Qualifies; Medical Marijuana Cultivation Ban Suspended

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Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin on Wednesday verified the signatures gathered for a referendum, and suspended an ordinance adopted on April 14 by the Board of Supervisors to ban all commercial medical marijuana cultivation in the county.

The county clerk rreleased a “Certificate of Examination of Referendum Petition” to Responsible Cultivation Santa Cruz (RCSC), a network of citizens dedicated to protecting medical cannabis patients' rights, to preserving the environment and to guarding the health and safety of the Santa Cruz community. The certificate states, “The result of the examination is that the petition is sufficient.”

RCSC circulated the referendum, and after 21 days filed 11,210 signatures with the county, on May 7. Required were 7,248 valid signatures to qualify the referendum for the ballot.

The ban ordinance will remain suspended until the County Supervisors decide to either repeal the law or let the county voters vote at the June 2016 primary election whether to approve or reject it.

The ordinance would have allowed a patient/caregiver to cultivate on only a space 10 feet by 10 feet, and required the garden to be on the property where the patient/caregiver resides. The ordinance also would have allowed only a single collective to operate in the entire county.

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