Lake Havasu City is starting the process of changing city code to reflect the passage of Proposition 207, which legalizes the sale and possession of recreational marijuana in Arizona.
The Planning and Zoning Commission will get the process started at its meeting Wednesday holding a public hearing on the proposed changes to City Code. The commission will make a recommendation to City Council, who will hold two more public hearings on the topic before the changes become official.
City Manager Jess Knudson said the proposed regulations around marijuana establishments will be the same as the current regulations for medical marijuana.
“The language in the state statute that was adopted as part of Prop 207 says cities and counties can’t be more restrictive than they already are on medical marijuana,” Knudson said. “So the thought at this point is for the code to be updated to reflect the medical marijuana chapter in the code.”
The proposed changes define a marijuana establishment as any entity licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services as either a retail location, a cultivation location, or a storage location for marijuana and marijuana products. Such recreational marijuana facilities would be subject to the same restrictions regarding where they can be located as medical marijuana facilities.
Currently, medical marijuana facilities are only allowed in industrial and light industrial zones within the city, and recreational marijuana will only be allowed in the same zones, according to the proposed changes in city code.
Additionally, marijuana establishments or testing facilities will not be allowed within 500 feet of a religious facility, the boundary of a residential zoning district, a public park, playground or recreational facility, or an establishment with an Arizona liquor license to sell beer, wine and spirits. Marijuana facilities are also not allowed to operate within 1,000 feet of a school, a daycare, or another marijuana business.
The changes to City Code also bar on-site consumption of marijuana, limiting the hours of operation to 7 a.m. until 10 p.m., and stipulate that a transaction privilege tax is required. The TPT tax will be in addition to the 16% tax on marijuana sales stipulated in Prop 207. All of those limitations already currently apply to medical marijuana facilities.
Prop 207 passed statewide with 60.3% of the vote, including 60% support in Mohave County. The measure to allow recreational marijuana in the state was also supported by the majority of voters in Lake Havasu City with 56.48% support in the Lake Havasu North precinct, 59.63% support in Lake Havasu South, and 58.60% of the vote in Desert Hills.
Truxton was the only precinct in the county where the majority of voters opposed Prop 207 with 53.04% of the precinct’s 115 voters voting no.