- Posted by Laura Croft, Esq
- On August 11, 2016
- cannabis, CMMLUO, commerical, Humboldt County, regulations
On February 26, 2016, Humboldt’s Commercial Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance (“CMMLUO”) took effect, making Humboldt the first county in the state to develop a comprehensive local regulatory system that is in line with recently passed California state law, Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MCRSA”), a compilation of recently enacted AB 243, AB 266, and SB 643. The ordinance sets forth robust regulations for commercial cultivation, processing, manufacturing and distribution of cannabis for medical use, in Humboldt County’s Coastal and Inland zones.
The ordinance requires a variety of permits, licenses, and certificates for special use, conditional use, zoning clearance, and coastal development, impacting new and existing commercial cultivations alike. Keep in mind, cultivation sites operating before January 1, 2016, must register with the county (Commercial Cannabis Registration Form) for priority permitting status with the county and eventually with the state under the MCRSA.
The ordinance covers “Commercial Cannabis Cultivation, ” which includes any activity involving the planting, growing, harvesting, drying, curing, grading, or trimming of marijuana or cannabis for medical use, including nurseries, that is intended to be transported, processed, manufactured, distributed, dispensed, delivered, or sold in accordance with the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) for use by medical cannabis patients in California pursuant to the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Proposition 215), found at Section 11362.5 of the Health and Safety Code.
Key Provisions of CMMLUO
The following commercial activity of cannabis for medical use is allowed in enumerated zones with particularized permits (Zoning Clearance Certificate, Special, Conditional and/or Use Permits) as follows:
1. New and Existing Outdoor and Mixed Light commercial cultivation;
2. Indoor commercial cultivation of cannabis;
3. Processing Facilities for commercial cannabis;
4. Manufacturing of commercial cannabis for medical use;
5. Wholesale Distribution Facilities for commercial cannabis for medical use; and
6. Nurseries, producing commercial cannabis and nursery products for retail sale.
The type of permit required, depends on the size and zoning classification of the parcel on which the activity is to be conducted and the type of state license required for that operation pursuant to the MCRSA.
Any violation of this Section, including, but not limited to failure to obtain and maintain in good standing with any required licensing, will subject commercial cannabis activity to an injunction, abatement or any other administrative, civil, or criminal remedy available to the County under the applicable state and county laws.
Importantly, this Section does not supersede the provisions concerning cultivation of medical marijuana for personal use by patients or caregivers.
Humboldt County provides a Commercial Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance Cultivation Application Checklist (updated 7/21/16), to help guide applications involving outdoor, mixed light, and indoor cultivation, followed by a meeting with a Planner for those ready to get started with permitting. CannaBusiness Law recommends that those involved with commercial cannabis activity do not wait to cozy up to this comprehensive piece of local legislation.