Archive for October, 2017

Lawsuit Against Fontana About Cannabis Cultivation

 As many already know, the voters in the state of California decided to legalize recreational marijuana last November. While it didn’t necessarily immediately make the buying and selling of recreational cannabis legal – that won’t happen until January 2018 – it did start a long road to determining all kinds of regulations. Things like who can grow and sell cannabis and quality control issues.

One thing that is known is that Proposition 64 allows anyone over the age of 21 to cultivate up to six plants for personal use. While this is the indication, there is one caveat: local jurisdictions can handle how those citizens go about their growing, including what kind of permits are needed and regulations they may face. The only thing that the state says is that no local jurisdiction can outright prohibit the growing of plants.

Who Voted for Recreational Marijuana Legalization in California?


Not every county and jurisdiction in California wanted the state to legalize recreational marijuana. Unlike the alcohol and modern day vapor pens, there are still a lot of misconceptions about camarijuana and the society views the herb as something negative.  In California Legalization did only pass with just 53% of the vote, a scant margin in some eyes. While some counties are remaining hands off and not meddling in the ability of persons to grow, others are enacting regulations to keep it in check.

No jurisdiction has been so strict as the city of Fontana.

In fact, their ordinances are so restrictive that the Drug Policy Alliance and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the city. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 61-year-old Mike Harris who would like to cultivate a few plants but has found the city permit processes too restrictive.

MJ Cultivation Permit Restrictions

cult permit

Just how restrictive is the process for getting a permit to cultivate just enough marijuana plants for personal use in Fontana? Fontana Ordinance 1758

  • A permit application will cost more than $400
  • Residents wishing to cultivate must submit themselves to a background check
  • Resident must submit to a Live Scan fingerprinting at their own expense
  • Residents must go on record as violating federal marijuana laws
  • Resident must agree to having their homes inspected by the city
  • Resident must not have any felony convictions related to controlled substances
  • The resident must also have no code enforcement actions with the city
  • The resident cannot owe any outstanding payments to the city
  • Written permission from the landlord to cultivate is needed where applicable
  • Residences to be used for cultivation must also meet a series of guidelines set forth by the city

City Manager Ken Hunt stated: “It is our intent behind this that this ordinance is not a permissive regulation, it is a restrictive regulation.”

Jesse Armendarez went further, stating “We’re going to be at the forefront of regulating what people can or cannot do.”

The lawsuit claims that these ordinances are so restrictive that they are, in effect, denying residents the rights conferred to them by Proposition 64. The lawsuit seeks to stop the enforcement of these ordinances that they deem are prohibitive to the cultivation of cannabis. Lawyers claim that some of the restrictions about the home or apartment in which the cultivation can occur – it must be a space solely dedicated to cultivation and only accessible by a single door, for example – are in themselves too restrictive.

What’s the New MJ Lawsuit About?

marijuana bush on a background of the cloudy sky at sunset

The lawsuit is asking the court not to allow Fontana to enforce its restrictive ordinances, but it is also asking the court to find that a city need not require a permit or a license before a resident can assert their rights under the AUMA.

While many jurisdictions are looking forward to the tax benefits and the prosperity that recreational marijuana may bring them, some are not as happy about the passing of Proposition 64. How the Fontana lawsuit does in court will pave the way – for good or bad – in how local jurisdictions police and regulate the cultivation, sale, and consumption of recreational cannabis.


Michael is a marketing and creative content specialist at with a primary focus on customer satisfaction. Technology and fitness combined with healthy lifestyle obsession are his main talking points

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