San Diego Approves Property Tax Incentive To Increase Urban Gardening

The City Council of San Diego, California unanimously approved a property tax incentive aimed at increasing urban gardening to alleviate food deserts and improve blighted areas in January of this year. The incentive reduces the tax on some 2,000 blighted properties if they’re converted into individual plots where local residents can grow fruits and vegetables. With the expected dozens of urban gardens to soon be established across the city, the Council recently found it necessary to stipulate that marijuana can’t be among the crops grown in the new urban plots.

Separate legislation last year currently allows pot farms in the city but requires them to be indoors and to meet a long list of additional requirements. It was decided to allow pot farms and factories making marijuana edibles in order to create a local supply chain and eliminate the need for city dispensaries to truck marijuana in from elsewhere. Rigorous city environmental approvals and other regulatory hurdles have so far delayed any approvals. Council members have stated that they wanted to eliminate any potential confusion by making it as clear as possible that marijuana can’t be grown in the urban gardens.

Though cities are still working on some rules, a slight majority have banned outdoor marijuana gardens, while dozens more require residents to get home-grow permits. A recent study undertaken by the Ocean County Register reviewed the laws and regulations surrounding the cultivation of marijuana throughout California. The study may be seen here. The California State Association of Counties also has information about cannabis ordinances.