Cannabis News

Cannabis News

News stories relating to cannabis are found  in the articles below.

In California, as the minimally regulated activity involved in the cannabis economy makes the transition to being much more regulated, there will be a steep learning curve for those choosing to make a living in this quickly evolving economic enterprise system. This page provides links to resources and information to help stakeholders begin to understand this process. In general, cannabis regulatory requirements in California originate from three sources: State laws, Local County Ordinances, and the Regional Water Quality Control Board.

The Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) and Mad River Alliance have partnered with Humboldt Green, California Growers Association and the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District in hosting a series Cannabis Farmers Compliance Workshops to aid growers and others in navigating the process for "Growing Green and Growing  Legal." Additionally, EPIC, in conjunction with Mad River Alliance, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, Department of Fish & Wildlife and Humboldt County, created a user-friendly 2016 Compliance Handbook which will be available at these workshops and can also be obtained on-line. See the links below.

Click here for a link to EPIC and information about the workshops.
Click here for a link for viewing or downloading the Handbook.

County Ordinance:
According to the Humboldt County Commercial Medical Marijuana Permitting webpage: "The Commercial Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance (CMMLUO) recently adopted by the Board of Supervisors became effective Friday, February 26, 2016. This is the date the Planning and Building Department will begin accepting applications for projects in the Inland Zone.  Applications for projects located in the Coastal Zone are not accepted at this time. The ordinance has not yet been certified by the California Coastal Commission."

The Planning Department's Application Form, Application Checklist for Cultivation, Commercial Cannabis Activity Registration Form and other relevant forms and materials are available at the County website at:
Note, the Commercial Cannabis Activity Registration form deadline is now Aug. 24, 2016. Humboldt County has created a Commercial Cannabis Questions Hotline at: 707-268-3795.
Other relevant County Information can be found at:

State Water Quality Control Board:
Click here for a link to the North Coast Regional Water Quality control Board webpage with information, forms and workshop listings.

California State Legislation:
In 2015, the Legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law, three bills (Assembly Bills 243 and 266, and Senate Bill 643) that create a licensing and regulatory framework for medical marijuana. It is anticipated that the regulations will be developed by January 1, 2018.

Click here to link to the California Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation FAQ’s webpage. This page has links to the three regulatory bills that have been signed into law.

If you are growing cannabis in California within the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board District and have 2000 square feet or more of cultivated area you are required to enroll in the Cannabis Cultivation Waste Discharge Regulatory Program. The deadline for enrollment in this program is Feb. 15, 2016. To enroll you must fill out a Notice of Intent form and return it to the Water Board. If you are growing cannabis with 2000 square feet or more of cultivated area and have not submitted this form you are out of compliance and subject to enforcement action.

Click here to download a Notice of Intent Form.

Click here for a link to the Regional Water Quality Control Board resource page giving more information about the program.

The Water Board's Resource page describes the three tiers in the progam as follows:

a) Tier 1 is a low-threat tier based on compliance with standard conditions and site characteristics (less than 5000 ft2 of total cultivated area, no cultivation on slopes greater than 35%, no cultivation areas or associated facilities are located within 200 feet of a surface water (i.e., wetland, Class I, II, or III streams), and no surface water diversion from May 15 - October 31.  The annual fee is $1000.

b) Tier 2 is a management tier for operations that do not meet the standard conditions or otherwise do not qualify for Tier 1.  Within 180 days of enrollment, Tier 2 enrollees shall develop and implement a site-specific water resource protection plan that includes management measures to be implemented to meet the standard conditions.  The annual fee is $2500.

c) Tier 2* is a tier for operations with less than 10,000 ft2 of total cultivated area, where enrollees have fully implemented a water resource protection plan, meet the standard conditions, and are determined by RWB staff or an approved third party to pose a low threat to water quality.  The annual fee is $1000.

d) Tier 3 is a cleanup tier, which requires the development and implementation of a cleanup and restoration plan.  A Tier 3 enrollee has 45 days to develop and submit a cleanup and restoration plan for RWB approval.  Tier 3 is not eligible for enrollment via a third party program. Tier 3 Dischargers who are cultivating cannabis concurrent with or following site cleanup activities must also enroll in and conform with Tier 2 requirements.  The annual fee is $10,000.

Use the SoundCloud Module below to listen to an interview on KMUD News with Ed Denson, a local attorney specializing in marijuana defense, discussing the importance of submitting the Notice of Intent. This interview was aired on KMUD Feb. 9, 2016.


Last September the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors agreed to use the latest medical marijuana cultivation ordinance draft from the political action group California Cannabis Voice-Humboldt (CCVH) as input as the Sups work through the process of crafting their own countywide ordinance governing outdoor cultivation of grows on parcels of larger than five acres. The complex task of drafting this county ordinance involves insuring that it will be in compliance with existing state and county requirements and is further complicated by a relatively short timeline. The timeline for having an ordinance in place is March 1, 2016 and results from a requirement that unless counties have adopted their own regulations by then they will need to adhere to state regulations.

To begin that process, the Humboldt Board of Supervisors directed the County Council Staff to create a draft ordinance that would be in compliance with state law. This draft has now been completed and is scheduled for review by the Planning Commission on Thursday, November 5 at 6 pm in the Board of Supervisors' Chamber, 825 Fifth Street, Eureka, California. After that review, the draft will be sent back to the Supervisors for review and adoption. Public input will be taken as the proposed ordinance goes through the process.

 Use the link below to read and/or downloaded the recently released draft.
Click here for a pdf copy of the draft ordinance.


UPDATE - audio added: Audio from the well-attended forum appears below.

Use the player above the hear audio from the forum and the SoundCloud player below to hear more background on the Blue Ribbon Commission in a report by Terri Klemetson, aired on the KMUD News Friday May 29, 2015.


The original post with additional information apprears below:

A special public policy forum to discuss the unique public policy challenges related to marijuana legalization affecting California’s North Coast will be held in Garberville this Friday, May 29 at the Redwood Playhouse in the College of the Redwoods Building at 286 Sprowel Creek Road in Garberville. Congressman Jared Huffman and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom will participate in the forum which will run from 1-2:30 pm.

Information will be presented from the document titled: "PROGRESS REPORT-Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy" Click here to read or download a pdf version of that document. A media advisory, received by KMUD News, describes the Blue Ribbon Commission as follows: "The Blue Ribbon Commission, chaired by Lt. Governor Newsom and formed in partnership with the ACLU of Northern California, aims to inform voters and policymakers on the key challenges related to marijuana legalization in California, in anticipation of a likely 2016 ballot initiative."

KMUD will do a live broadcast of the forum and archive the program at kmud.org.

Feedback from policymakers, researchers and the public on the issues raised in this Progress Report, as well as on other issues related to the taxation, regulation and legalization of marijuana in California, is welcomed. The Progress Report suggests the following as guidelines for feedback:

1. Are there points raised in this report with which you disagree? If so, why? Please do share information, reports, or analysis that helps you form your view on that issue.

2. What particular solutions or approaches do you recommend policymakers pursue in the areas described in the Progress Report?

3. Are there particular topics raised in the Progress Report about which you would like to see the BRC provide further information and analysis?

4. Are there other issues that are not addressed in this Progress Report that you believe the BRC or policymakers should consider?

Please send comments via the feedback link on the BRC website at www.safeandsmartpolicy.org. Please send any attachments (using .pdf format) to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. A member of the BRC or its staff or consultants will review the comments; however, will not have the capacity to respond to each of the comments individually.

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