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Santa Rosa’s proposed ban on outdoor growing of cannabis is headed back for more review.

City staff abruptly kicked the ban back to a cannabis subcommittee hours before the City Council on Tuesday was set to vote on the 45-day moratorium.

In making their decision, officials cited the high volume of feedback they received about the proposal prior to the meeting.

“We needed more time for public input on this,” said David Guhin, the director of planning and economic development.

The city’s cannabis subcommittee has proposed outdoor growing be banned within city limits as part of the city’s comprehensive medical marijuana ordinance, which could take effect later this summer. The permitting processes the city has put in place to date are temporary.

Concerns raised by residents include complaints about odor, safety and environmental hazards connected to outdoor cultivation.

To make sure backyard growers didn’t get too invested in pot patches that might become illegal later this year, the city proposed an immediate moratorium. Such an “urgency” measure would have required five “yes” votes from the seven-member council.

The ban would not have prevented qualified patients from growing in greenhouses or indoors.

Guhin said the city had received a substantial amount of additional public input since the city’s staff report went public last Thursday. There was no particular issue raised that triggered the decision, and comments were from residents for and against the ban, he said.

The city now will send the issue back to the subcommittee for a full airing, probably in April, Guhin said.

In Napa Valley, the Calistoga City Council plans in mid-April to consider allowing residents to grow within the city limits two plants outside the home and four inside.

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