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Marijuana may be legal in California, but cities are creating their own cannabis regulations – and bans. Here’s how that affects you

By in Press Enterprise on January 4, 2018

By Brooke Staggs

Aaron Herzberg wakes up in his hometown of Irvine, a city with some of the most stringent marijuana laws in California.

As he commutes to his Los Angeles law firm he’ll pass through Santa Ana, which allows retail sales of marijuana but no commercial cultivation, and Lynwood, which allows commercial cultivation but no shops.

He’ll drive through Fountain Valley, which lets people grow marijuana in backyard gardens. And he’ll pass by Montebello, which requires permits if people want to grow one plant inside a locked room of their home.

The city at the end of Herzberg’s morning commute, Los Angeles, permits outdoor home marijuana gardens and every type of cannabis business that’s legal under state law.

The journey shows one thing: Even though Proposition 64 made marijuana generally legal in California — as approved by 57 percent of California’s electorate — the specific rules about cannabis’ legality vary from town to town.

The same law that legalized recreational cannabis and set the stage for a cannabis industry that kicked off this month also gives local governments authority to regulate or ban most marijuana activity inside their borders.

That’s led to a rapidly evolving patchwork of rules that can vary widely from one city to the next, making it tough for Californians to know where they can shop for legal weed, open a marijuana business or even what they can do in their own homes.

“It’s impossible to follow,” said Herzberg, who’s law firm represents the marijuana industry and has stakes in cannabis ventures throughout Southern California.

“It’s just too hard to keep up with everything.”

Database tracks city rules

Some basics apply everywhere.

Since Nov. 9, 2016, anyone 21 and older in California has been allowed to carry or give away up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to six cannabis plants per […]    

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