A final environmental review has been released by Calaveras County officials, starting the clock for when officials will open a hearing for a proposed cannabis ban.

A hearing has been scheduled on Sept. 28 for the Calaveras County Planning Commission to consider a recommendation to the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors in which a ban could go into law.

The environmental review, required by the California Environmental Quality Act, is used by decision-makers as a tool to determine whether or not to approve an ordinance.

Calaveras County Planning Director Peter Maurer did not respond to requests for comment on the release Tuesday.

In January, Calaveras supervisors directed county staff to craft a cannabis ban.

With a ban, cultivators would only be able to grow six plants. That is the number of plants allowed by the state of California for personal cultivation.

The final review, prepared by Ascent Environmental Inc. of Sacramento, is based on a draft document released publically in April that said a cannabis ban would avoid significant environmental effects. It further said a cannabis regulatory system would have significant and unavoidable effects on the environment. Air quality, transportation and circulation were listed as the areas that could not be mitigated.

A ban would eliminate funding sources to combat the increased number of illegal cultivators that would come with it, the document added.

The draft received 45 comments, which the county had to respond to individually before the release of the final document. None of the comments received nor the responses given constituted noteworthy new information, the document said.

The final environmental review did add an alternative that supervisors could choose outside a ban and proposed medical marijuana ordinance the previous board of supervisors directed staff to craft in February of 2016.

It would further restrict regulations, establishing minimum parcel sizes and reducing available zones. The limitations would shrink the market to approximately 415 commercial operations in the county.


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