Cannabis compliance zoning and permitted activity. If you are a current or prospective landowner of commercial property in Santa Rosa, you and your real estate agent may be wondering whether you can legally lease to any part of the medical cannabis industry [and the recreational cannabis industry, should the November initiative pass]; what types of protections to put in your lease, and whether your lease terms would be enforceable, given that cannabis remains illegal under federal law.
First, the U.S. Department of Justice has de-prioritized enforcement of the federal ban on cannabis, and Congress has formally limited enforcement of federal law by defunding any enforcement activities by the Department of Justice. In addition, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has ordered that the Department of Justice may not enforce an injunction against a dispensary where the dispensary was operating in compliance with California law. U.S. v Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, U.S.D.C., N.D.Cal. Case No. 98-00086. Presumably this would extend to other cannabis-related businesses as well.