Napa is on the road — again — to legal sales of medical marijuana.
The city’s latest push toward a cannabis dispensary culminated Tuesday night with the City Council’s unanimous vote in favor of an ordinance opening up industrial, office-park and medical office zones to future retailers.
After a second approval vote followed by a 30-day wait, Napa will be able to join the ranks of California cities where smokable marijuana and pot-infused edibles are openly sold – more than four years after the city pulled back an earlier dispensary law amid concerns about clashing with the federal government’s continuing cannabis ban.
With marijuana gaining increasing acceptance both in society and under California law – and with the state building a regulatory framework and set to legalize recreational use on Jan. 1 – a veteran of the local debate told a near-capacity City Hall audience the new ordinance is overdue.
“This is something we’ve tried to pass for years and years and years, and it’s high time we got around and did it,” said Jim Krider, a two-term council member who was reappointed last month and was part of the group that passed Napa’s first, never-used cannabis retail ordinance in 2010.
In addition to marking parts of Napa for medicinal sellers to operate, the law will let residents cultivating marijuana for personal use grow their plants outside as well as in – a practice supporters say will be cheaper and safer than indoor cultivation using growing lights.
California voters’ 2016 passage of Proposition 64 enshrined the right of residents to grow up to six personal-use pot plants, but left it to cities to decide whether to allow or forbid outdoor cultivation.
Napa’s revamped policy aims to make