Desert Hot Springs, also known as DHS, is a city in Riverside County, California, United States. The city is located within the Coachella Valley geographic region, sometimes referred to as the Desert Empire. The population was 25,938 at the 2010 census, up from 16,582 at the 2000 census. The city has undergone rapid development and high population growth since the 1970s, when there were 2,700 residents.
Desert Hot Springs Cannabis Regulations
17.180.010 Purpose and intent.
The purpose and intent of this chapter is to regulate the dispensing, cultivation, processing, manufacturing, testing and distribution of medical marijuana in a manner that protects the public health, safety and welfare of the City and mitigates the costs to the community of the oversight of these activities. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to: (1) allow persons to engage in conduct that endangers others or causes a public nuisance; (2) allow the use or diversion of marijuana for non-medical purposes; or (3) allow any activity relating to the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, distribution or consumption of marijuana that is otherwise illegal under California State law. (Ord. 597 2-7-17; Ord. 585 9-20-16)
17.180.020 Interpretation and applicability.
Operation of medical marijuana facilities within the City shall be permitted upon the application and approval of both a City-issued Conditional Use Permit pertaining to the location of the facility and a City issued Regulatory Permit pertaining to the operation of the facility, as well as a Development Agreement for unentitled raw land, where applicable, in accordance with the criteria and procedures set forth in this chapter and the City’s Municipal Code, upon application and subject to such additional regulations as may be promulgated pursuant to this chapter.
A. The cultivation, processing and distribution of medical marijuana in the City are controlled by the provisions of this chapter.
B. Nothing in this chapter is intended, nor shall it be construed, to burden any defense to criminal prosecution otherwise afforded by California law.
C. Nothing in this chapter is intended, nor shall it be construed, to preclude a landlord from limiting o prohibiting marijuana cultivation, consumption or other related activities by tenants.
D. Nothing in this chapter is intended, nor shall it be construed, to exempt any marijuana-related activity from any applicable local or State construction, environmental, electrical, plumbing, land use, labor or employment laws or any other building or land use standards or permitting requirements.
E. Nothing is this chapter is intended, nor shall it be construed, to make legal any sale, cultivation, transportation, manufacture, or other use of marijuana that is otherwise prohibited or non-compliant under California law, as amended from time to time.
F. Until otherwise stated under California law, all medical marijuana facilities operating in the City shall be operated by a bona fide non-profit organization such as a cooperative or a collective.
G. All medical marijuana dispensaries and medical marijuana cultivation, distribution, and manufacturing facilities within City limits shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter, regardless of whether the use existed or occurred prior to adoption of this chapter.
(Ord. 597 2-7-17; Ord. 585 9-20-16)
17.180.090 Medical marijuana facilities—Required license and permits.
A. In addition to those other requirements which may be imposed pursuant to this chapter, no person or entity shall engage in medical marijuana activity or open or operate a medical marijuana facility without possessing and obtaining the following:
1. A medical marijuana Regulatory Permit issued by the City pursuant to Chapter 5.50 of the City’s Municipal Code; and
2. A Conditional Use Permit, pursuant to the conditions set forth in this chapter and the City’s Municipal Code; and
3. Any applicable State-required permit.
B. The fact that a person or entity possesses other types of State or municipal permits or licenses does not exempt the person or entity from the requirement of obtaining a City-issued Conditional Use Permit to operate a medical marijuana facility. (Ord. 597 2-7-17; Ord. 585 9-20-16)
17.180.100 Licenses and permits applicable to location.
No person or entity shall locate or operate a medical marijuana facility under the authority of a license or permit at any place other than the address of the medical marijuana facility as stated in the medical marijuana Regulatory Permit issued by the City and the Conditional Use Permit issued pursuant to this chapter. (Ord. 597 2-7-17; Ord. 585 9-20-16)
5.50.040 Permits required.
Prior to initiating operations and as a continuing requisite to operating a medical marijuana facility, the legal representative of the persons wishing to operate a medical marijuana facility shall first obtain a conditional use permit pursuant to the applicable provisions of this code and then obtain a regulatory permit from the City Manager or designee under the terms and conditions set forth in this chapter. The legal representative shall file an application with the City Manager or designee upon a form provided by the City and shall pay an application fee as established by resolution adopted by the City Council as amended from time to time. An application for a regulatory permit shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following information:
A. An estimate of the size of the group of primary caregivers and/or qualified patients who will be served by the medical marijuana facility.
B. Whether delivery service of medical marijuana to any location outside the medical marijuana facility will be provided and the extent of such service.
C. The address of the location of the medical marijuana facility.
D. A site plan and floor plan of the medical marijuana facility denoting all the use of areas of the medical marijuana facility, including storage, cultivation, exterior lighting and dispensing.
E. A security plan that addresses how the following measures shall be implemented or complied with:
1. Security cameras shall be installed and maintained in good condition, and used in an on-going manner with at least 240 concurrent hours of digitally recorded documentation in a format approved by the City Manager or designee. The cameras shall be in use 24 hours per day, seven days per week. The areas to be covered by the security cameras shall include, but are not limited to, the public areas, storage areas, employee areas, all doors and windows, and any other areas as determined to be necessary by the City Manager or designee.
2. The medical marijuana facility shall be alarmed with an audible interior and exterior alarm system, unless waived for extenuating circumstances by the City Manager or designee, that is operated and monitored by a recognized security company, deemed acceptable by the City Manager or designee. Any change in the security company shall be subject to the approval of the City Manager or designee. All current contact information regarding the medical marijuana facility’s security company shall be provided to the City Manager or designee.
3. Entrance to the dispensing or cultivation areas and any storage areas shall be locked at all times, and under the control of medical marijuana facility staff.
4. All medical marijuana shall be securely stored, and a reliable, commercial alarm system shall be installed and maintained where the medical marijuana is secured.
5. A licensed security guard, licensed by the California Department of Consumer Affairs, shall be present at the medical marijuana facility during all hours of operation. If the security guard is to be armed, then the security guard shall possess at all times a valid Security Guard Card and Firearms Permit issued by the California Department of Consumer Affairs.
F. The name and address of the owner and lessor of the real property upon which the medical marijuana facility is to be operated. In the event the applicant is not the legal owner of the property, the application must be accompanied with a notarized acknowledgement from the owner of the property that a medical marijuana collective or cooperative medical marijuana facility will be operated on his or her property.
G. Authorization for the City Manager or designee to seek verification of the information contained within the application.
H. Evidence that the organization operating the medical marijuana facility is organized as a bona fide non-profit cooperative, affiliation, association, or collective of persons comprised exclusively and entirely of qualified patients and the primary caregivers of those patients in strict accordance with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, the Medical Marijuana Program Act and the 2008 Attorney General Guidelines.
I. A statement in writing by the applicant that he or she certifies under penalty of perjury that all the information contained in the application is true and correct.
J. Any such additional and further information as is deemed necessary by the City Manager or designee to administer this section. (Ord. 552 10-21-14)
5.50.050 Background check.
All applicants for a regulatory permit for a medical marijuana facility, including any management personnel who are responsible for the day-to-day operations and activities of the medical marijuana facility shall be required to submit to a Fingerprint-Based Criminal History Records Check conducted by the Desert Hot Springs Police Department. (Ord. 552 10-21-14)
5.50.060 Grounds for denial.
The City Manager or designee shall reject an application upon making any of the following findings:
A. The applicant made one or more false or misleading statements or omissions on the application or during the application process;
B. The medical marijuana facility’s related cooperative or collective is not properly organized in strict compliance pursuant to the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, the Medical Marijuana Program Act, the 2008 Attorney General Guidelines and any other applicable law, rules and regulations;
C. The applicant is not a primary caregiver or qualified patient or the legal representative of the medical marijuana facility;
D. The medical marijuana facility is not permitted in the proposed area; orE. The applicant, or any person who is managing or is otherwise responsible for the activities of the medical marijuana facility has been convicted of a felony, or convicted of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, or the illegal use, possession, transportation, distribution or similar activities related to controlled substances, as defined in the Federal Controlled Substances Act, with the exception of medical cannabis related offenses for which the conviction occurred after the passage of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. (Ord. 552 10-21-14)
17.180.110 Signage and notices.
In addition to the requirements otherwise set forth in this chapter, business identification signage for all medical marijuana facilities shall conform to the requirements of the City’s Municipal Code, including, but not limited to, issuance of a City Sign Permit. (Ord. 597 2-7-17; Ord. 585 9-20-16)
17.180.120 Compliance with laws.
A. It is the responsibility of the owners and operators of all medical marijuana facilities to ensure that such facilities are, at all times, operating in compliance with all applicable Federal (not dealing with medical marijuana), State and local laws and regulations and any additional operating procedures or requirements which may be imposed as conditions of approval of a given medical marijuana facility. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize any action which violates Federal (not dealing with medical marijuana) law, State law or local law with respect to the operation of a commercial medical marijuana business.
B. Medical marijuana facilities shall be permitted only as provided in this chapter and if not expressly permitted by this chapter, shall be prohibited.
C. Any person or entity operating a medical marijuana facility shall at all times remain in compliance and operate in accordance with the applicable provisions of this chapter, the City’s Municipal Code, the CUA, the MMPA, the MMRSA, and all other applicable State laws pertaining to medical marijuana facilities.
D. Failure to abide by any laws mentioned in this subsection shall constitute a public nuisance and shall subject the medical marijuana facility to revocation of any and all entitlements, licenses and permits. (Ord. 597 2-7-17; Ord. 585 9-20-16)
17.180.130 Administration and enforcement.
A. In addition to the administration of the permitting requirements under this chapter and the City’s Municipal Code, the City Council or its designee may require, as a condition to granting or renewing permits, any information reasonably necessary to implement the intent of this chapter to ensure that all medical marijuana is grown, processed, manufactured and distributed in a manner not in conflict with this chapter, and to ensure that any and all related city taxes are being properly reported and paid.
B. A Conditional Use Permit, and any modifications thereto as provided in Section 17.180.060, approved for a medical marijuana facility may be suspended or revoked for any violation of this chapter and pursuant to the procedures generally applicable to Conditional Use Permits as set forth in the City’s Municipal Code. Violations of this chapter are subject to administrative, civil, and/or criminal penalties, as set forth in the City’s Municipal Code, and remedies for such violations include, but are not limited to, civil injunctive relief, civil or administrative nuisance abatement actions or proceedings, summary abatement of immediately hazardous conditions, and all other applicable fines, penalties and remedies. The ordinance codified in this chapter is adopted to address public health and safety issues, and as such, is expressly intended to be interpreted strictly and enforced rigorously in a manner such as to deter further violations. (Ord. 597 2-7-17; Ord. 585 9-20-16)
17.180.050 Medical marijuana cultivation facilities.
A. Permitted Locations. Medical marijuana cultivation facilities involving the cultivation of more than 99 mature flowering medical marijuana plants shall only be located in any industrial district in the City.
B. Interior Only. Medical marijuana cultivation shall be conducted only in the interior of fully enclosed structures, facilities, buildings, or other fully enclosed spaces consistent with the purpose and intent of this chapter. No medical marijuana cultivation operations, including harvesting and growing plants at any stage, shall be visible from any public right-of-way.
C. Permits. Medical marijuana cultivation facilities shall obtain a City-issued Conditional Use Permit and Regulatory Permit, and a Development Agreement if the property is raw land.
(Ord. 597 2-7-17; Ord. 585 9-20-16)
Chapter 3.33 MARIJUANA CULTIVATION TAX
3.33.005 Imposition of tax.
In the event the cultivation of marijuana for casual/recreational use is legalized or decriminalized in California, any person or entity cultivating marijuana for casual/recreational use in the City shall pay an annual tax of $25 per square foot for the first 3,000 square feet and then $10 per square foot for the remaining space utilized in connection with the cultivation of marijuana for casual/recreational use. (Ord. 559 11-4-14 )
3.33.010 Purpose of tax.
The purpose of this tax is to raise revenue to fund general municipal services. (Ord. 559 11-4-14)
This tax shall not be specifically charged or assessed to any customer or consumer. Payment and remittance of the tax to the City shall solely be the responsibility of the person or entity authorized to legally cultivate marijuana within the City. (Ord. 559 11-4-14)
“Space utilized in connection with the cultivation of marijuana” shall mean any space or ground, floor or other surface area (whether horizontal or vertical) which is used during the marijuana germination, seedling, vegetative, preflowering, flowering and harvesting phases, including without limitation any space used for activities such as growing, planting, seeding, germinating, lighting, warming, cooling, aerating, fertilizing, watering, irrigating, topping, pinching, cropping, curing or drying marijuana or any such space used for storing any products, supplies or equipment related to any such activities, no matter where such storage may take place or such storage space may be located. (Ord. 559 11-4- 14)
3.33.040 Annual adjustment.
The taxes imposed by this chapter shall be adjusted annually beginning on July 1, 2015, and July 1 of each succeeding year based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all urban consumers in the Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County areas as published by the United States Government Bureau of Labor Statistics; however, no adjustment shall decrease any tax imposed by this chapter, unless approved by the City Council. (Ord. 559 11-4-14)
The taxes imposed by this chapter shall be remitted to the City biennially, on or before December 31st and June 30th every year. (Ord. 559 11-4-14)
3.33.060 Modification, repeal or amendment.
The City Council may repeal this chapter, or amend it in a manner which does not result in an increase in the amount of the tax or broaden the scope of the tax imposed herein, without further voter approval. If the City Council repeals any provision of this chapter, it may subsequently reenact it without voter approval, as long as the reenacted provision does not result in an increase in the amount of the tax or broaden the scope of the tax imposed herein. (Ord. 559 11-4-14)
The City Manager, or designee, and/or the City Council by ordinance, may promulgate regulations to implement and administer the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 559 11-4-14)
Any entity that fails to pay the taxes required by this chapter within 30 days after the due date shall pay in addition to the taxes a penalty for nonpayment in a sum equal to 25 percent of the total amount due. Additional penalties will be assessed in the following manner: 10 percent shall be added on the first day of each calendar month following the month of the imposition of the 25 percent penalty if the tax remains unpaid—up to a maximum of 100 percent of the tax payable on the due date. Receipt of the tax payment by the City shall govern the determination of whether the tax is delinquent. Postmarks will not be accepted as adequate proof of a timely payment. (Ord. 559 11-4-14)
3.33.090 Additional penalties.
Any violation of this chapter shall constitute a public nuisance and infraction pursuant to the provisions of Chapters 4.16 and 4.28 of this municipal code. (Ord. 559 11-4-14)
3.33.100 Records inspection.
Whenever it is necessary to examine any books or records, including tax returns, of any entity subject to the provisions of this chapter, to ascertain the amount of any tax due pursuant to this chapter, the City shall have the power and authority to examine such necessary books and records at any reasonable time including, but not limited to, during normal business hours. Records must be maintained for at least seven years. (Ord. 559 11-4-14)
3.33.110 Application of provisions.
No payment of any tax required under the provisions of this chapter shall be construed as authorizing the conduct or continuance of any illegal business or of a legal business in an illegal manner. Nothing in this chapter implies or authorizes that any activity connected with the cultivation, possession or provision of marijuana is legal unless otherwise authorized and allowed by the State of California and permitted by the City. (Ord. 559 11-4-14)
3.33.120 Operative date.
This tax shall become operative commencing upon the effective date of an ordinance permitting persons and entities to cultivate and sell, distribute, exchange, deliver or provide marijuana within the jurisdictional boundaries of the City of Desert Hot Springs. (Ord. 559 11-4-14)
17.180.060 Medical marijuana manufacturing facilities.
A. Permitted Locations. Medical marijuana manufacturing facilities shall only be located in any industrial district in the City, subject to the regulations set forth in this chapter and any additional regulations as may be promulgated hereunder by an ordinance or resolution of the City Council or otherwise pursuant to this chapter.
1. Medical Marijuana Manufacturing—Administrative Approval. A duly approved medical marijuana
cultivation facility, with a duly approved Conditional Use Permit, Regulatory Permit, and a Development
Agreement, if applicable, may request modification of the already approved Conditional Use Permit to operate a medical marijuana manufacturing facility provided the Director of Community Development, or his or her designee, finds all of the following:
a. There are no impacts or changes to the following:
i. On-site circulation and parking, loading and landscaping;
ii. Placement and/or height of walls, fences, and structures;
iii. Exterior architectural features, including colors, and/or modification of finished materials that do not alter or compromise the previously approved theme;
iv. The density or intensity of a development project;
v. Size of structure(s) or expansion of use, other than the use of manufacturing;vi. Existing or approved grade elevations;
vii. Paving; and
viii. Hours of operation.
b. The medical marijuana cultivation facility and its manufacturing use is consistent with the goals, objectives, policies and programs of the general plan.
c. The medical marijuana cultivation facility and its manufacturing use complies with all applicable zoning and other regulations.
d. The medical marijuana cultivation facility and its manufacturing use will not be detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare or materially injurious to properties or improvements in the vicinity.
e. The location, design and operation of the medical marijuana cultivation facility and its manufacturing use will be compatible with existing and planned land uses in the vicinity.
Applications for a modification of a Conditional Use Permit under this section shall be on a form proscribed by the Director and shall be filed with the Department, pursuant to Chapter 17.68 (Applications and Fees) and must be approved by the Director, or designee, who may establish additional conditions to further the intent of this section. Any modification request which exceeds the prescribed limitations outlined in this section shall comply with requirements set forth in subsection (B)(2). Minor modifications shall not apply when a nonconforming use, structure or site is involved. Medical marijuana manufacturing facility applications under this section may be referred to the planning commission at the discretion of the Director.
2. Medical Marijuana Manufacturing Facilities Not Operating within a Duly Existing Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility. Medical marijuana manufacturing facilities which are not operated within an existing and duly approved medical marijuana cultivation facility or which results in any additional impact or expansion of use or structure(s) shall obtain a City-issued Conditional Use Permit and Regulatory Permit, and a Development Agreement if the property is raw land.
C. Interior Only. Medical marijuana manufacturing shall be conducted only in the interior of fully enclosed structures, facilities, buildings, or other fully enclosed spaces consistent with the purpose and intent of this chapter. No medical marijuana manufacturing shall be visible from any public right-of-way.
D. Operational Requirements.
1. Manufacturers are limited to certain equipment, methods, solvents, gases and mediums when creating medical marijuana extracts.
2. Medical manufacturing facilities with a state license of a Type-6 (non-volatile) or a Type 7 (volatile) classification may be allowed to operate under this chapter.
3. All other methods of extraction shall be conducted in an environment appropriate to the solvent being used, with consideration to proper ventilation and ignition source controls.
4. All equipment, systems and manufacturing processes must meet or exceed all applicable State and Federal requirements and regulations regarding air, water, health and safety, and handling, processing and storage of hazardous materials, solvents, gases and waste. No manufacturing facility shall commence operations or be issued any form of certificate of occupancy without first obtaining all required fire, environmental, health and safety, planning, and building certificates, permits and approvals required under City’s Municipal Code and all other applicable County, State and Federal regulations.
E. PhD Chemist. As a condition of obtaining a City-issued medical marijuana Regulatory Permit and Conditional Use Permit, a licensee of a manufacturing facility desiring to operate under this chapter shall first verify that the licensee employs or contracts with a person who has a PhD in chemical sciences who shall supervise the design, installation and operation of the facility’s systems and manufacturing processes. Such person shall inspect the premises on a quarterly basis and provide such inspection report to the City. The licensee shall submit to the City a written statement that he or she certifies under penalty of perjury that the name of the employee/contractor is true and correct. The employee/contractor shall also submit a written statement that he or she certifies under penalty of perjury his or her educational qualifications and verifying that the supervisor is employed or contracted to supervise the design, installation and operation of the facility’s systems and manufacturing processes.
F. State Regulations. In the event the State of California implements health and safety regulations applicable to medical marijuana manufacturing facilities, upon implementation of such State regulations, all medical marijuana manufacturing facilities operators shall immediately implement the State regulations. Should there be a conflict between the provisions of this chapter and the State regulations, the State regulations shall control. (Ord. 597 2-7-17; Ord. 585 9-20-16)
17.180.040 Medical marijuana dispensaries.
A. Permitted Locations. Medical marijuana dispensaries shall only be located in any commercial district in the City.
B. Number of plants. Dispensaries shall not cultivate more than 99 mature flowering medical marijuana plants on site at any 1 time.
C. Conditional Use Permit/Regulatory Permit Required. Dispensaries shall obtain both a City-issued Conditional Use Permit and Regulatory Permit. (Ord. 597 2-7-17; Ord. 585 9-20-16)
17.180.070 Medical marijuana testing facilities.
A. Permitted Locations. Medical marijuana testing facilities shall only be located in any industrial district in the City.
B. Interior Only. Medical marijuana testing shall be conducted only in the interior of fully enclosed structures, facilities, buildings, or other fully enclosed spaces consistent with the purpose and intent of this chapter. No medical marijuana testing operations shall be visible from any public right-of-way.
C. Permits. Medical marijuana testing facilities shall obtain a City-issued Conditional Use Permit and Regulatory Permit, and a Development Agreement if the property is raw land. (Ord. 597 2-7-17; Ord. 585 9-20-16)
17.180.080 Medical marijuana distribution facilities.
A. Permitted Locations. Medical marijuana distribution facilities shall only be located in industrial districts in the City, upon issuance of a Conditional Use Permit and a medical marijuana Regulatory Permit issued pursuant to the City’s Municipal Code.
B. Permits. Medical marijuana distribution facilities shall obtain a City-issued Conditional Use Permit and Regulatory Permit, and a Development Agreement if the property is raw land.
C. Interior Only. Other than loading, unloading and transportation, all distribution of medical marijuana and medical marijuana products shall be conducted only in the interior of enclosed structures, facilities, or buildings.
D. Labor Peace Agreements. All applicants for a Conditional Use Permit pursuant to this chapter shall provide a statement that the applicant will enter into, or shall demonstrate that it has already entered into, and will abide by the terms of a labor peace agreement, as defined in California Business and Professions Code Section 19300.5(v).
E. Public Safety. All applicants for Conditional Use Permit to operate a medical marijuana distribution facility under this chapter shall: (1) demonstrate that such facility will be equipped with adequate security installations and systems to prevent trespassing, theft and diversion of medical marijuana for unlawful purposes, including exterior lighting, an alarm system, and 24-hour, on-site security personnel, tag and trace protocols and video surveillance; and (2) shall maintain such security installations and systems while in operation.
(Ord. 597 2-7-17; Ord. 585 9-20-