Fresno City Council President Clint Olivier cleared up confusion Thursday after he tweeted earlier in the morning: “Fresno city council kills marijuana ban. Dies on 3-3 vote.”
Olivier failed to specify in his tweet that the only marijuana-related vote on Thursday was one asking that the city limit the number of marijuana plants that can be grown at home.
The state allows up to six marijuana plants to be grown at home after voters in November 2016 approved Proposition 64. Councilman Garry Bredefeld, who introduced Thursday’s measure and who is one of four council members voting to impose heavy restrictions on cannabis cultivation and move forward with a ban on marijuana dispensaries, deliveries and public use, said six plants is “a lot.”
His efforts fell short Thursday when Councilman Paul Caprioglio was absent and the council tied 3-3 on the cultivation restrictions part of the marijuana initiative, essentially keeping the city from regulating home-based marijuana growers.
“Prop. 64 allows you to grow at least six,” Bredefeld said Thursday. “The city of Fresno is looking to put a restriction at the six plants, which is a lot of plants.”
After Olivier tweeted that the council had killed the “marijuana ban,” Bredefeld jumped in to say it was a “fake” claim and that the restriction efforts did not move forward simply because Caprioglio was absent. Olivier responded and said it was an “amateur, embarrassing strategic error.” Olivier also added that he now has time to “get another vote” on his side.
But before Olivier clarified at City Hall on Thursday that the vote only dealt with cultivation, he also seemed confused about exactly what the council had voted on.
“I believe it may have only been on cultivation but I think it may have been all-encompassing,” Olivier said. Then he admitted, “There seems to be a little bit of confusion from people who are in the know, so let me go and find that out.”
Later on Twitter, Olivier said that City staff was still working on a recreational dispensaries ban. “Today we halted (the restrictions on the) cultivation process,” he said.
The part of the marijuana ban that deals with dispensaries is expected to be brought back to the council for a vote sometime in November.
“The dispensary ban is going to take a number of weeks, and maybe even months to prepare and return to the council,” Olivier said. “(The cultivation part) we shot down today because Caprioglio was absent.”
Olivier said, “for today,” the heavy restrictions on marijuana cultivation for Fresno that were approved in June are moot. He added that unless Bredefeld decides to bring the item back to the council, “then it’s dead.”
Bredefeld still contends that marijuana cultivation at home needs to be regulated beyond what Proposition 64 allows. He plans to bring the idea back to the council for more consideration when the entire council is on hand.
Bredefeld said Olivier’s tweet on Thursday misinformed Fresno residents because it failed to give the full picture about the pending vote on a marijuana ban.
“It was unfortunate that the phony tweet was put out,” he said, “because it gave people the impression that we did something different on recreational dispensaries and we did not.”