OAKLAND — The City Council voted Tuesday night cut in half the number of plants a medical marijuana grower can cultivate – but left the limit at a still sizable garden of up to 72 plants.
The vote cuts the legal limit from its current 144 plants.
Council President Ignacio De La Fuente wanted to chop the crop to 10 plants, but hashed out a compromise with local medical marijuana advocates. The new rules passed on a 6-0 vote, with two members abstaining.
Medical marijuana advocates said the stricter limits mean about 20 percent of local medical marijuana users will not be able to grow enough pot to meet their needs.
“The reason we agreed is because we were forced to,” Jeff Jones, executive director of the Oakland of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative, told the Oakland Tribune.
Oakland approved the 144 plant limit in 1998. With the changes, people who get a doctor’s recommendation to use marijuana for their illnesses can grow 20 plants outdoors. Alternatively, they could grow on up to 32 square feet of inside space — enough for about 72 small plants or around 60 mature plants.
Outdoor marijuana plants produce an average yield around 5 ounces in California annually, according to a city staff report. The report said indoor plants can produce up to 3 ounces and be harvested three times a year.