Below is a summary of a City Council Meeting on February 13, 2018. These are the topics discussed about our beautiful community and progression of Legalizing Cannabis within the city of Corona, CA.


Corona Has Long Prohibited Medical Marijuana Dispensaries & Related Businesses

  • First prohibition adopted in 2006
  • One of the first published appellate court opinions related to enforcement of medical marijuana prohibitions (Corona v. Naulls in 2008)


Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulations and Safety Act (MAUCRSA). Essentially Replaced Prop 64 and Consolidated with Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA)

Personal Usage

  • Age – 21 years of age or older
  • Possession – Possess, process, transport, purchase, obtain or give away
  • Use – Smoke or ingest cannabis or cannabis products
  • Cultivation – Possess, plant, cultivate, harvest, dry or process up to 6 plants per residence for personal use, subject to reasonable regulation

State Licensing of Commercial Operations

Since January 1, 2018

  • All commercial cannabis businesses must have a state license to engage in any commercial cannabis activities
  • State licenses cannot be issued to an applicant whose operations would violate the provisions of any local ordinance or regulation
  • State licenses will be valid for one year
  • Separate state licenses are required for each business location

Types of State Licenses

  • Types 1/2/3: Cultivation; specialty outdoor and indoor (small and medium) (January 2018)
  • Type 4: Cultivation; Nursery
  • Type 5: Cultivation; outdoor/indoor (large) (January 2023)
  • Types 6/7: Manufacturing 1 and 2
  • Type 8: Testing
  • Types 9/10: Retailer
  • Types 11/12: Distributor /Transportation

Local Regulatory Options

  • MAUCRSA does not require cities or counties to enact a regulatory scheme by a certain date
    • If not in place before a business applies for a state license, state will contact local agency to ensure that activity would not violate local regulations
  • May completely ban state-licensed cannabis businesses
    • May not prohibit use of public roads for deliveries in other jurisdictions
  • May regulate all or some commercial cannabis activities
    • State standards are minimum standards
    • Possible additional standards: health & safety, environmental protection, testing, security, food safety and worker protections


  • Aspects of the Marijuana Business
    • Research
    • Grow/Produce
    • Manufacture
    • Testing
    • Distribute
    • Sell (Retail)
  • Allowing Any Aspect Increases Likelihood of Allowing All
    • Policy pressure and/or initiative measures
  • Perception Alone Likely Drives an Increase in Illegal Businesses
    • 6 in first 6 months following passage of Prop 64


  • What Will the City’s “Net” Financial Impact Be?
    • Current budget challenges & the promise of money
    • Regulatory staff & enforcement costs
    • Timing gap between certain expense & uncertain revenue
    • “INVESTING WITH BORROWED MONEY” ~ Risk all on city
  • Fixed Costs & Related Concerns
    • Community Development & Fire Department
  • Concerns for the Building and Fire Departments
    • Compliance with building occupancy classifications
      • Indoor commercial cannabis grow facility
      • Cannabis processing
      • Testing facility
      • Extraction facility
    • Ventilation
      • Control heat and excess CO2 inside bldg.
    • Gas Detection System
      • Increased level of CO2 inside bldg. for commercial grow
    • Odor Control
      • External odor from operation
    • Electrical Demand
      • Indoor Grow Facility
    • Quantity of highly flammable products in control rooms
    • Maintaining Means of Egress from the Building
    • Staffing Concerns
      • Current staffing levels not sufficient
      • Increased inspections by Building and Fire inspectors
      • Ensure compliance with building and fire codes and building occupancy classification
      • Unknown if operations would warrant bi-annual or tri-annual inspections by city staff
    • Time Spent on Enforcement of Illegal Business
  • Police Department Highlights
    • Staffing Concerns
    • Crime Concerns
    • The Colorado Experience
  • Possible Utility Concerns
    • Electricity Thefts
    • Sewer System Impacts
  • Current Enforcement Efforts
    • The City’s Complete and Unequivocal Prohibition Makes Our Enforcement Efforts Quicker and Much More Efficient
  • Major Steps in the Process
    • Discovery
    • Inspection by Code Enforcement
    • Cease & desist letter
    • File complaint/request TRO in court
    • Daily admin cites/fines (owners/operators/landlords)

Recent Case Study (944 W. 6th Street)

  • Weeks from discovery to shut down – 6
  • Admin fines recovered – $30,000

Variable Costs & Related Concerns

  • Enforcement Costs, Outside Legal Fees (6 Figures)
    • Would want to avoid adding attorney
    • Easily double (or more) current city-wide outside legal fees
    • Longer, more difficult path to shut down
    • Approved businesses will demand enforcement against illegal operations
    • We have experience with this – remember billboards & massage establishments
  • Forensic Compliance Audits & Expert Witnesses
  • Defending Constitutional Challenges
    • Equal Protection & First Amendment
  • Secondary Effects Lawsuits
    • Example: Ferranto
  • Workers Comp & Other Costs
    • Including Marijuana & Chemical Exposure

Federal Issues

  • Still Illegal Under Federal Law
  • Banking Concerns
  • Would the City Ever Be At Risk With Federal Grants?


There is Time to Learn from Other Cities

  • Regulatory/Inspection Issues
  • Development of State Law/Regs
  • Assess Federal/Banking Issues
  • Assess Net Cost Impacts

Are There Any Benefits to the City Proceeding Now?

  • Chasing the “Risk Premium”
  • Cities Don’t Chase Risk
  • How Long Will the Risk Premium Last?
  • Can We Risk Waiting More Than We Can Risk Failure?
  • Declining Prices & Taxes
  • Shifting Leverage