Arlene Martinez, Ventura County Star | Published 2:32 a.m. PT Sept. 24, 2019
Ventura’s policymakers on Monday approved new rules on deliveries of recreational and medicinal marijuana within city limits. The ordinance, adopted on a 7-0 vote, followed a change in state law that took effect Jan. 1 and mandated deliveries be allowed by state-licensed cannabis operators.
The City Council has consistently opposed most types of marijuana operations, though shortly after voters approved recreational marijuana in 2016, it allowed three companies to make medical-based deliveries. Before that went into effect, the state broadened the law, so Ventura legal staff began again.
The deliveries can be made from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with restrictions, under the new ordinance. Between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., marijuana can’t be delivered within 600 feet of a public or private K-12 school.
Council member Cheryl Heitmann questioned why deliveries could be made as early as 3 p.m., noting that many students stay on campus at after-school programs until 6 p.m.
Police Chief Ken Corney said it was a balancing act in developing the details of the ordinance and imposing “reasonable restrictions.” The illicit market delivers at all times and locations, and that’s what legal operations are competing against, he said.
The ordinance also mandates that dashboard cameras and GPS be put in every delivery vehicle, requires educational materials be provided with purchase and includes a lengthy application process that involves background checks of drivers and proof of insurance. Permits must be renewed each year.
Corney said enforcement will fall less on police and more on the cannabis-delivery companies, which have the most to lose if they’re caught not following the ordinance.