Fontana to Revise Its Marijuana Ordinance, Dole Out $106,916 in Legal Fees After Judge’s Ruling

A recent legal case out of Fontana should as a warning shot to local governments tempted to go overboard with their marijuana regulations.

A judge has ordered the city to pay $106,916 in legal fees to a resident who took the city to court over its stringent marijuana rules and won. Fontana will also revise the cannabis ordinance which was struck down by a judge in November.

As CalMarijuanaPolicy reported in 2017, Fontana’s restrictions on personal pot cultivation were so strict as to effectively constitute a ban on personal cannabis use. Residents who wished to grow up to six plants, as allowed under state law, were forced to obtain permits, pay high permitting fees, pass background checks, and even authorize city officials to inspect their homes. Not surprisingly, Fontana has never issued as single permit since the ordinance was enacted.

Those rules were struck down by a judge last year. Fontana was expected to appeal but ultimately let the deadline to do so expire. In addition to paying the plaintiff’s legal fees, the City Council will vote on a new marijuana ordinance Feb. 26.

Proposition 64 gave local governments significant leeway to regulate commercial and even personal marijuana cultivation. But the law specifies that any regulations on the latter must be “reasonable.”

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Wednesday, January 27, 2021 - 08:37

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