On January 11, 2017, the California Supreme Court unanimously granted review of the Fourth Appellate District’s published opinion, Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v. City of San Diego (2016) 4 Cal.App.5th 103.
In granting review, the Court identified the following issues:
- Is the enactment of a zoning ordinance categorically a “project” within the meaning of the California Environmental Quality Act (Pub. Resources Code, § 21000 et seq.)?
- Is the enactment of a zoning ordinance allowing the operation of medical marijuana cooperatives in certain areas the type of activity that may cause a reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change to the environment?
The Fourth District held that the enactment and amendment of the zoning ordinance did not have the potential for resulting in “a reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the environment,” and was thus not a project. (4 Cal.App.5th 103). More specifically, the court ruled that the impacts alleged by appellants concerning increased travel, cultivation, and development did not create a reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the environment because these allegations were too speculative. (4 Cal.App.5th 103, 119-124).