- Posted by Laura Croft, Esq
- On January 24, 2017
- cannabis, cultivation permits, draft ordinances, MCRSA, Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, Mendocino cannabis, registration form
With the onset of 2017, Mendocino County welcomes a new year, with the county working on re-writing the cannabis cultivation and zoning ordinances, having developed new Draft Ordinances; Draft MCCO Section 10A.17.030 and Draft Medical Cannabis Cultivation Site 20.242. At the end of 2016, Mendocino forged ahead with an environmental review of the draft ordinance in place at that time, and the present changes to the ordinance are in response to the review and any other directives from the Board of Supervisors. According to the Department of Agriculture in Mendocino County, the county is no longer accepting applications under the Sheriff’s Office program.
The County of Mendocino intends to begin issuing permits for cannabis cultivation and other cannabis activity as defined by the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, Business and Professions Code section 19300, et seq. (MCRSA). Business and Professions Code section 19321(c) provides that an existing medical cannabis facility or entity that is operating in compliance with local requirements on or before January 1, 2018, may continue its operations until its application for a state license for operation is acted upon. That section also provides that, in issuing licenses, the state licensing authority shall prioritize any facility or entity that can demonstrate that it was in operation and in good standing with the County prior to January 1, 2016.
Applications to existing cultivations should be available in mid-April of 2017 and the County of Mendocino has generated a Medical Cannabis Activity Registration Form, which will help Mendocino County assess the level of interest of persons looking to apply for local permits. Submission of this Activity Registration Form will guarantee priority processing for local permit applications once they become available and may also assist the County in making a determination that your medical cannabis facility or entity was operating and in good standing with the County prior to January 1, 2016.
Highlights of Section 10A.17 – Draft Mendocino County Cannabis Ordinance (see full text for specifics)
- Section 10A.17.030 – Cultivation Permit Required; Exemptions:
- Cultivation of cannabis for medical use shall be permitted only following the issuance of a Cultivation Permit.
- Qualified patients or primary caregivers cultivating medical cannabis pursuant to this Section are exempt from the permit requirements. A maximum of 100 square feet of medical cannabis per patient. A max of two patients per caregiver with 100 square feet per patient, up to 200 square feet total.
- Section 10A.17.040 – General Limitations on Cultivation of Medical Cannabis:
- The cultivation of medical cannabis in Mendocino County, in any amount or quantity by any entity, shall not be allowed in the following areas: (1) Within one thousand (1,000) feet of a youth-oriented facility, a school, a park, or any church or residential treatment facility as defined herein; (2) Outdoors or using mixed light within one hundred (100) feet of any occupied legal residential structure located on a separate legal parcel; (3) Outdoors or using mixed light in a mobile home park as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 18214.1 within one hundred (100) feet of an occupied mobile home that is under separate ownership; (4) In any location where the cannabis plants are visible from the public right of way or publicly traveled private roads; (5) Outdoors or using mixed light within fifty (50) feet of a legal parcel under separate ownership.
- Section 10A.17.050 – Unique Identifier; Track & Trace
- All cannabis plants grown for medical use shall have a unique identifier tag affixed to the base of the plant. A Track and Trace (T&T) system will be used by the County of Mendocino to track the production of cannabis for medical use.
- Section 10A.17.060 – Medical Marijuana Collectives
- Under the provisions of MCRSA, the current collective/cooperative model for the production and dispensing of medical cannabis remains in effect until the moment an entity obtains the required State license issued under MCRSA for that activity.
- Section 10A.17.070 – Section 10A.17.090 covers permit types and requirements. The County of Mendocino has also developed a Draft Table of Cannabis Cultivation Permit Types and Requirements.
Additionally, Mendocino County has released a draft of Chapter 20.242 Medical Cannabis Cultivation Site, which provides land use regulations for the County of Mendocino where medical cannabis may be cultivated, subject to the limitations established of this chapter and the provisions of Mendocino County Code Chapter 10A.17. The objective of this Chapter is allow the cultivation of medical cannabis in locations that are consistent with intent of the base zoning district and to help ensure that its cultivation and related activities will not create adverse impacts to the public health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the County of Mendocino.
Contact CannaBusiness Law for expert assistance in compliance with cannabis licensing, permitting and the application process relating to commercial Cannabis in California.