Port Hueneme Medicinal Cannabis Ordinance



By Tom Dunn

Port Hueneme Medicinal Cannabis Ordinance: Port Hueneme is challenged by a variety of factors that limit its economic development potential: (i) it’s the only city in Ventura County without direct highway access; (ii) one-half of its retail market area is located in the Pacific Ocean; and (iii) its demographics do not support high-value, high-volume retailers.

Consequently, Port Hueneme generates the least tax revenue (property, sales and hotel occupancy combined) per capita of all ten cities within the County. Lacking big-box outlets, auto dealerships and similar tax generating enterprises requires an unorthodox economic development strategy. The emergence of cannabis provides a unique opportunity for the City to cultivate non-traditional revenue sources. California voters authorized medicinal marijuana in 1996 under Proposition 215, followed with the approval of cannabis for recreational purposes under Proposition 64 in 2016. The combined effect of these actions is to legitimize an emerging industry that is not reliant upon traditional market dynamics or location criteria. This situation provides a unique opportunity for Port Hueneme to compensate for its disadvantages and non-competitive edge in the traditional marketplace. 

After six months of public meetings, workshops and hearings, the Port Hueneme City Council adopted a Medicinal Cannabis Ordinance on June 5th. The Council vote was 3-1 with Councilmember Sylvia Munoz Schnopp voting in opposition and Councilmember Jonathan Sharkey (not in attendance). The Ordinance will become legally effective on July 5, 2017. Meanwhile, City staff and legal counsel have been tasked with developing an Implementing Resolution to specify application procedures, eligibility requirements and associated administrative matters. In summary, the Ordinance is strictly limited to cannabis activities for medicinal purposes. Recreational use is not authorized at this time. Indoor cultivation is allowed for commercial purposes and personal consumption; however, outdoor cultivation is only permissible for single family properties. Cannabis activities (both commercial and personal) may only be authorized by a Certificate of Approval issued by the City. In addition, all commercial operations (regardless of location) are subject to a noticed public hearing so that nearby resident and business concerns are properly vetted.

Additionally, commercial cannabis activities will  only be allowed within the R-4 (Mixed Use), C-1 (Commercial) and M-1 (Industrial) zones of the City and no closer than 600 feet from a school. Commercial operations must adhere to strict control measures including security, video surveillance, customer screening and odor control. Owners, operators and employees who engage in cannabis activities are also subject to background investigations, minimum age requirements and proven business acumen.

For details, please visit: http://ci.port-hueneme.ca.us/index.aspx?nid=1050.

Tom Dunn is a Port Hueneme civic activist working to restore PH financial and governmental stability. He heads the Port Hueneme Coalition of Concerned Citizens (PHCCC). He is retired- was a sales executive for major health care manufacturers and a small business owner.

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One Response to Port Hueneme Medicinal Cannabis Ordinance

  1. Bruce Boyer August 4, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Good for the City, a move forliberty. its legal so cities should not be allowed to hinder legal businesses.


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