Background 

On June 27, 2016, the State enacted the Medical Cannabis Regulatory Safety Act (MCRSA) to protect residents’ use of medical cannabis and to establish regulations for personal and commercial cannabis activity. 

On November 8, 2016, California voters passed Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) to regulate personal and commercial non-medical marijuana activity. Proposition 64 passed by a State-wide margin of 57%, with 50.5% support in Santa Clara County. 

State legislature SB 94, the Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) combines and unifies regulations for both medicinal and non-medical commercial cannabis activities and the personal use of cannabis.

On January 1, 2018, the State began issuing temporary commercial licenses for medicinal and non-medicinal cannabis. Many California cities and counties are now implementing local cannabis regulations.

City Council Action

On January 17, 2017, Urgency Ordinance No. 291 to place a moratorium on certain cannabis-related activities was adopted by Council. The Moratorium has been fully extended under the law and will expire January 17, 2017.

In February 2017, a Cannabis Subcommittee was established and met over the course of two years to review potential options for cannabis zoning, ordinances and tax measures.

At the August 7, 2018 Council meeting, Council directed staff to work with the Cannabis Subcommittee to bring back options for allowing commercial cannabis establishments.

At the October 2, 2018 Council meeting, staff was directed to bring forward zoning and regulatory ordinances for commercial cannabis use, based on the Cannabis Subcommittee recommendations.

At the November 20, 2018 Council meeting, staff was directed to initiate the steps towards implementing a permanent ban on commercial cannabis activities, prohibiting outdoor cultivation of cannabis for personal use and to regulate the indoor cultivation of cannabis for personal use within the city.

On December 19, 2018, City Council will consider the introduction of an ordinance prohibiting commercial cannabis activities, prohibiting outdoor personal cultivation and regulating indoor personal cultivation. 

Subcommittee on Cannabis

The Cannabis Subcommittee was established by Council in February 2017. Agendas, agenda material and minutes are available on the City’s website. The Subcommittee conducted a total of 10 open and public meetings between 2017 and October 2018.

Public Engagement and Outreach

There has been considerable community interest on the topic of cannabis in Milpitas. Extensive community outreach was conducted in Summer 2018, in addition to the public subcommittee meetings.

  • Over 500 responses were received from the public via an online survey conducted in June 2018, which equates to over 25 hours of public comment.
  • In-person surveys were also conducted at two City events in 2018: Memorial Day Ceremony and Pride Celebration.
  • There was strong support for a cannabis tax for retail and commercial cannabis activities at almost 75% of those polled. About 60% were opposed to outdoor cultivation for personal use.
  • Also in June 2018, two facilitated community meetings were conducted to provide a broad overview of state law and regulation requirements promulgated by Proposition 64 and solicited community feedback on three key components of the cannabis industry: 1) personal cultivation, 2) cannabis businesses and regulations, and 3) taxation and revenue.