Brentwood: City to charge for each illegal cannabis plant to try and combat grow houses

Brentwood: City to charge for each illegal cannabis plant to try and combat grow houses
CANNANNEW REPORT

BRENTWOOD — It just got a lot more expensive if you are caught illegally growing marijuana inside a home in Brentwood. On Tuesday, the City Council clarified its rules on growing marijuana beyond the legal six-plant limit inside a personal residence. As a result of the action, adiminstrative citations may be issued for each plant being grown beyond the limit. Current citations are $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second and $500 for the third and subsequent violation, but now each plant will be considered a separate violation. The city has seen an increased number of illegal grows inside homes in the past year, Code Enforcement Supervisor Roberta Portillo-Bienemann told the council. The new rules would give code enforcement additional tools to stem the illegal cultivation, she said. Nearby in Antioch where several legal dispensaries operate, the city does not have such regulations on its books for marijuana cultivation in personal residences. Antioch Interim Police Chief Steve Ford said in the city hasn’t seen any grow houses — which often come with illegal wiring and unpermitted construction — in the last year though an illegal warehouse grow operation was discovered months ago and code enforcement officers imposed sanctions and the plants were destroyed. “As crazy as it sounds, I’d like to think that that (the availability of dispensaries) has helped to mitigate the need for people to want to try and erect a weed house or weed grow because they don’t have to do that,” Ford said while noting black market sales, though, are still present. Brentwood has regulated marijuana cultivation inside homes since 2017, when it incorporated state law into its municipal code, she said. In some large-scale operations, plants have numbered in the hundreds or thousands, posing health and safety risks to people and property, and…

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