Humboldt County

Regulations for Cannabis Related Commercial Activity

County Description

Humboldt County is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 134,623. The county seat is Eureka. Humboldt County comprises the Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna, CA Micropolitan Statistical Area. It is located on the far North Coast 200 miles north of San Francisco. Its primary population centers of Eureka, the site of College of the Redwoods main campus, and the smaller college town of Arcata, site of Humboldt State University, are located adjacent to Humboldt Bay, California’s second largest natural bay.

Humboldt County is a densely forested mountainous, and rural county with about 110 miles of coastline (more than any other county in the state) situated along the Pacific coast in Northern California’s rugged Coast (Mountain) Ranges. With nearly 1,500,000 acres (6,100 km2) of combined public and private forest in production, Humboldt County alone produces twenty percent of total volume and thirty percent of the total value of all forest products produced in California. The county contains over forty percent of all remaining old growth Coast Redwood forests, the vast majority of which is protected or strictly conserved within dozens of national, state, and local forests and parks, totaling approximately 680,000 acres (over 1,000 square miles).

The Commercial Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance was adopted by the Board of Supervisors became effective Friday, February 26, 2016. This is the date the Planning and Building Department began accepting applications for projects in the Inland Zone.  The deadline for submitting applications was December 31, 2016.

Political Statistics

County Board of Supervisors

State Senate

 

State Assembly

  • District 2 Assembly Member Jim Wood -DEM

US Congress

US Senators

City-Level Cannabis Laws

CULTIVATION

APPROVED

55.4.8 General Provisions

This section applies to all facilities and activities involved in the Commercial Cultivation, Processing, Manufacture, or Distribution of cannabis for medical use, as defined in this Section, within the Coastal Zone.

55.4.8.1 All commercial cultivation, processing, manufacture, or distribution of cannabis for medical use shall operate in compliance with this Section, as well as all applicable state and local

55.4.8.2 Outdoor and Mixed Light commercial cultivation of cannabis for medical use shall be allowed in specifically enumerated zones in which general agriculture is a principally permitted use, or a conditional use, only with a Zoning Clearance Certificate, Special Permit, or Use Permit issued pursuant to Sections 312-2.1 or 312-3.1 of the Humboldt County Code. Inside the Coastal Zone, zoning districts where the Outdoor and Mixed-Light commercial cultivation of cannabis for medical use may be located are AE (no parcel size limitation), RA (on parcels of 5 acres or larger), TC, and TPZ (on parcels one (1) acre or larger). In all zones where cultivation is allowed consisting of timberland, the commercial cultivation of cannabis for medical use shall only be permitted within a 3- acre conversion exemption area or non-timberland open area, subject to the conditions and limitations set forth in this section. Additionally, with a Conditional Use Permit, Outdoor and Mixed-Light commercial cultivation of cannabis for medical use may be conducted in CG, MB, ML, and MG zones, subject to the conditions and limitations set forth in this

55.4.8.2.1 Approvals for New Outdoor and Mixed-Light Cultivation Areas
On parcels 5 acres or larger in size, a Zoning Clearance Certificate may be issued for new outdoor or mixed-light commercial cannabis cultivation for an area up to 10,000 square feet that was not previously in existence as of January 1, 2016, on parcels with Prime Agricultural Soils, in zoning districts RA or AE, on slopes of 15% or less, and with documented current water right or other non-diversionary source of irrigation water (e.g., municipal, public utility, or permitted well), subject to the conditions and limitations set forth in this section.  The cultivation area shall be located on the Prime Agricultural Soils on the parcel and no more than 20% of the area of Prime Agricultural Soils on the parcel may be permitted for commercial medical marijuana cultivation. Where the parcel meets the characteristics which support new cultivation but the parcel contains a cultivation site that existed on January 1, 2016, the area allowance for new cultivation shall be adjusted such that the maximum aggregate 10,000 sq. ft. area (as may modified by the 20% prime soil cap) is not exceeded over the parcel (e.g., a site with a 6,000 sq. ft. existing cultivation area and meeting the criteria for new cultivation could obtain a permit for new cultivation of up to 4,000 sq. ft.). Only one Zoning Clearance Certificate may be issued for each parcel, except as provided in Sections 55.4.8.2.1.1 and 55.4.14.

55.4.8.2.1.1 On parcels 320 acres or larger in size, in the eligible zoning districts described in 55.4.8.2.1, one additional cultivation area permit of up to one acre each for each one hundred acre increment (e.g. 3 for a 320 acre parcel, 6 for a 600 acre parcel, etc.), up to a maximum of 12 permits, may be issued with a Use Permit, subject to the limitations contained in section 55.4.8.10. No more than 20% of the area of Prime Agricultural soils on the parcel may be utilized for commercial medical marijuana cultivation activities.

55.4.8.1.2 In zoning districts CG, MB, ML, and MG, outdoor and mixed light cultivation may be permitted with a Use Permit.

55.4.8.2.1.3 On AE parcels between 1 acre and 5 acres in size, outdoor and mixed light cultivation of up to 5,000 square feet may be permitted with a Use

55.4.8.2.1.3 On eligible parcels under 5 acres in size, the cultivation area must be set back at least 300 feet from existing residences on adjoining

55.4.8.2.2 Approvals for Existing Outdoor and Mixed-Light Cultivation Areas
A Zoning Clearance Certificate, Special Permit or Use Permit may be issued for outdoor or mixed-light commercial cannabis cultivation for some or all of the cultivation area in existence prior to January 1, 2016, in zoning districts AE (no parcel size limitation), RA (on parcels five acres or larger), and TC and TPZ (on parcels one acre or larger), but only when possible to bring the cultivation into compliance with all applicable standards set forth in this section and to eliminate existing violations as specified in this ordinance. No expansion of the existing cultivation area shall be permitted. The total cultivation area allowed on a single parcel shall not exceed one acre for outdoor cultivation or 22,000 square feet for mixed-light cultivation.

55.4.8.2.2.1 On AE-zoned parcels of less than one acre, only one Use Permit may be issued for outdoor or mixed-light commercial cannabis cultivation for some or all of the cultivation area in existence prior to January 1, 2016, not to exceed 2,500 square feet. The cultivation area must be set back at least 300 feet from existing residences on adjoining parcels. The standards set forth in Section 313-55.2.7.2.8 shall also apply.

55.4.8.3 Approvals for Indoor Cultivation
Indoor commercial cultivation of cannabis for medical use shall be a permitted use inside the Coastal Zone in zoning districts CG, MB, ML, and MG subject to a Zoning Clearance Certificate or Use Permit and the conditions and limitations set forth in this section. Indoor commercial cultivation of cannabis for medical use shall be permitted with a Special Permit inside the Coastal Zone in zoning districts RA (on parcels of 5 acres or more) and AE, for cultivation facilities of up to 5,000 square feet that will be located in a non-residential structure existing on January 1, 2016, subject to the conditions and limitations set forth in this section. Electrical power for indoor cultivation operations including but not limited to illumination, heating, cooling, and ventilation, shall be provided by on-grid power with 100% renewable source, on-site zero net energy renewable source, or with purchase of carbon offsets of any portion of power not from renewable sources.

55.4.8.7 Nurseries, as defined herein, producing commercial cannabis nursery products for retail sale shall be a permitted use inside the Coastal Zone in zoning districts CG, ML, MG, and MB, subject to a Use Permit and the conditions and limitations set forth in this Section. Nurseries producing commercial cannabis nursery products for bulk wholesale sale or to supply retail nursery outlets shall be a permitted use in the AE zoning district, or RA zoning district on parcels of 5 acres or more, subject to a Special Permit and the conditions and limitations set forth in this Section.

55.4.8.10 No more than four commercial cannabis activity permits of any type enumerated in Sections 55.4.8.2 through 55.4.8.7 of this ordinance may be issued to a single person, as defined herein. For purposes of this limitation, any natural person who owns or controls any interest, directly or indirectly, in a firm, partnership, joint venture, association, cooperative, collective, corporation, limited liability company, estate, trust, business trust, receiver, syndicate, or any other group or combination acting as a unit, shall be collectively considered a single person with those entities.

The type of Zoning Clearance Certificate, Special Permit, or Use Permit that shall be required in order to engage in the commercial cultivation of cannabis for medical use shall be determined by 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 MMRSA, in accordance with the following chart:

Applications for any clearance or permit listed in the above chart shall be processed in accordance with the procedures set forth in Title III, Chapter 2, beginning with Section 312-1 of the Humboldt County Code.

55.4.9.1 Processing of cannabis at the same premises where the cultivation site is located shall be allowed pursuant to the applicable Zoning Clearance, Special Permit or Use Permit provided that the Processing Performance Standards and Employee Safety Practices enumerated in section 55.4.11(q) through (u) below are met. All processing that will not occur at the same premises where the cultivation site is located is subject to a Special Permit application in those zones specified in Section 55.4.8.4.

55.4.9.2 Multiple applicants may obtain a Zoning Clearance Certificate, Special Permit or Use Permit for outdoor cultivation, mixed-light cultivation, or both, on a single Premises by filing a combined application so long as the cumulative cultivation area does not exceed the total cultivation area size limits for that clearance or permit type set forth in section 55.4.9. For purposes of the limitation of the number of permits that may be granted on a single parcel pursuant to section 55.4.8.2.1 or 55.4.8.2.2.1, multiple permits or combinations of permit types combined in a single application shall be considered a single permit, but a separate permit shall be issued for each independent operator that filed a combined application under this section.

55.4.9.3 A combination of the permit types that may be allowed in the same zone (e.g., outdoor and mixed light cultivation, or indoor cultivation and processing) that are for a total area equal to or less than the cultivated area size limit that may be processed as a Zoning Clearance Certificate application may be processed with a single application. Permitting for a combination of permit types that is larger than the area that may be processed with a Zoning Clearance Certificate, may be processed with a single Special Permit or Conditional Use Permit, as applicable. For purposes of the limitation of the number of permits that may be granted on a single parcel pursuant to section 55.4.8.2.1 or 55.4.8.2.2.1, multiple permits or combinations of permit types combined in a single application shall be considered a single permit.

55.4.10 Applications for Commercial Cannabis Activity on Tribal Land

Commercial cannabis activity shall only be allowed on Tribal Lands with the express approval of the Tribe.

55.4.10 Application Requirements for All CMMLUO Clearances or Permits

  1. The name, contact address and phone number(s) of the applicant.
  2. If the applicant is not the record title owner of parcel, written consent of the owner for the application with original signature and notary acknowledgement.
  3. Site plan showing the entire parcel, including easements, streams, springs, ponds, and other surface water features, and the location and area for cultivation on the parcel with dimensions of the area for cultivation and setbacks from property lines. The site plan shall also include all areas of ground disturbance or surface water disturbance associated with cultivation activities, including: access roads, water diversions, culverts, ponds, dams, graded flats, and other related features.  If the area for cultivation is within ¼ mile (1,320 ft.) of a school, school bus stop, church or other place of religious worship, public park, or Tribal Cultural Resource, the site plan shall include dimensions showing that the distance from the location of such features to the nearest point of the cultivation area is at least 600 feet.
  4. A cultivation and operations plan that meets or exceeds minimum legal standards for water storage, conservation and use; drainage, runoff and erosion control; watershed and habitat protection; and proper use and storage of fertilizers, pesticides, and other regulated products to be used on the parcel, and a description of cultivation activities (outdoor, indoor, mixed light), the approximate date(s) cannabis cultivation activities have been conducted on the parcel prior to the effective date of this ordinance, if applicable; and schedule of activities during each month of the growing and harvesting season. The operations plan shall also include a security plan describing measures to be taken to ensure the security of the medical marijuana and to safeguard against the diversion of medical marijuana for non-medical purposes, or access by minors.
  5. Copy of the statement of water diversion, or other permit, license or registration filed with the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Rights, if applicable.
  6. Description of water source, storage, irrigation plan, and projected water usage.
  7. If applicable, a copy of Notice of Intent and Monitoring Self-Certification and other documents filed with the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board demonstrating enrollment in Tier 1, 2 or 3, North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board Order No. 2015-0023, or any substantially equivalent rule that may be subsequently adopted by the County of Humboldt or other responsible agency.
  8. If any on-site or off-site component of the cultivation facility, including access roads, water supply, grading or terracing impacts the bed or bank of any stream or other watercourse, a copy of the Streambed Alteration Permit obtained from the Department of Fish & Wildlife.
  9. If the source of water is a well, a copy of the County well permit, if applicable.
  10. If the parcel is zoned TC or TPZ, or involves the conversion of timberland as defined under section 4526 of the Public Resources Code, a copy of a less-than-3-acre conversion exemption or timberland conversion permit, approved by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL-FIRE). Alternately, for existing operations occupyingcsites created through prior unauthorized conversion of timberland, if the landowner has not completed a civil or criminal process and/or entered into a negotiated settlement with CAL- FIRE, the applicant shall secure the services of a registered professional forester (RPF) to evaluate site conditions and conversion history for the property and provide a written report to the Planning Division containing the RPF’s recommendation as to remedial actions necessary to bring the conversion area into compliance with provisions of the Forest Practices Act. The Planning Division shall provide CAL-FIRE written Notice of Availability of the RPF’s report. If CAL-FIRE takes no action within ten (10) days of the notice of availability, the report recommendations shall become final.
  11. Consent for onsite inspection of the parcel by County officials at prearranged date and time in consultation with the applicant prior to issuance of any clearance or permit, and once annually
  12. For indoor cultivation facilities, identify the source of electrical power and how it will meet with the energy requirements in section 55.4.8.3, and plan for compliance with applicable Building Codes.
  13. Acknowledge that the County reserves the right to reduce the size of the area allowed for cultivation under any clearance or permit issued in accordance with this Section in the event that environmental conditions, such as a sustained drought or low flows in the watershed in which the cultivation area is located will not support diversions for irrigation.
  14. Acknowledge that the county reserves the right to engage with local Tribes before consenting to the issuance of any clearance or permit, if cultivation operations occur within an Area of Traditional Tribal Cultural Affiliation, as defined herein. This process will follow current departmental referral protocol, including engagement with the Tribe(s) through coordination with their Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) or other tribal representatives. This procedure shall be conducted similar to the protocols outlined under SB 18 (Burton) and AB 52 (Gatto), which describe “government to government” consultation, through tribal and local government officials and their designees. During this process, the tribe may request that operations associated with the clearance or permit be designed to avoid, minimize or mitigate impacts to Tribal Cultural Resources, as defined herein. Examples include, but are not limited to: conducting a site visit with the THPO or their designee to the existing or proposed cultivation site, requiring that a professional cultural resources survey be performed, or requiring that a tribal cultural monitor be retained during project-related ground disturbance within areas of sensitivity or concern. The county shall request that a records search be performed through the California Historical Resources Information System (CHRIS).

55.4.11 Performance Standards for all CMMLUO Cultivation and Processing Operations

  1. Cannabis cultivation and other commercial cannabis activity shall be conducted in compliance with all laws, except if upon inspection for the initial application, violations of any building or other health, safety, or other state or county statute, ordinance, or regulation are discovered, compliance with a written approved compliance agreement signed by the applicant and the relevant enforcement agency or agencies, to abate or cure violations at the earliest feasible date, but in no event no more than two (2) years of date of issuance of a provisional clearance or permit. Applicants shall provide plans for curing such violations to the Planning & Building Department within one (1) year of issuance of the provisional clearance or permit. Once the violations are cured, the permit will no longer be provisional. The violations subject to a compliance agreement pursuant to this paragraph shall be related to land conversion, on-site grading, electricity usage, water usage, agricultural discharges, and similar matters and limited to those improvements, facilities, buildings and sites that are used for commercial cannabis activity and shall not extend to personal residences or other structures that are not used for commercial cannabis activity. The terms of the compliance agreement may be appealed pursuant to section 55.4.13 below, except the Planning Commission, and not the Zoning Administrator, shall act as Hearing Officer, and shall make a determination within thirty (30) days of the conclusion of the hearing.
  2. Possession of a current, valid required license, or licenses, issued by any agency of the State of California in accordance with the MMRSA, and regulations promulgated thereunder, as soon as such licenses become available.
  3. Compliance with all statutes, regulations and requirements of the California State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Rights, at a minimum to include a statement of diversion of surface water from a stream, river, underground stream, or other watercourse required by Water Code Section 5101, or other applicable permit, license, or registration.
  4. The area of cannabis cultivation and on-site processing shall be located as shown on the application site plan, set back at least 30 feet from any property line, and 600 feet from any School, School Bus Stop, Church or other Place of Religious Worship, Public Park, or Tribal Cultural Resources (as these terms are defined in section 55.2.6 and 55.4.7). The minimum setback required from property lines or adjacent uses may be waived or reduced with the express consent of the adjacent property owner and occupant. For purposes of this section, the setback requirement applicable to Public Parks, other than lands managed for open space and/or wildlife habitat, shall only be applied to designated and developed recreational facilities such as picnic areas and campgrounds, trails, and coastal, river and fishing access points, and like facilities under public ownership. For publicly owned lands managed for open space and/or wildlife habitat purposes, a setback of less than 600 feet may be allowed with a Special Permit. Cultivation areas and associated facilities shall observe all required setbacks from watercourses, wetlands and Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas, as described within sections 313-33 and 313-38 of the code, as well as applicable resource protection policies and standards of the Local Coastal Plan.
  5. Maintain enrollment in Tier 1, 2 or 3, certification with the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (NCRWQCB) Order No. 2015-0023, if applicable, or any substantially equivalent rule that may be subsequently adopted by the County of Humboldt or other responsible agency.
  6. For cultivation areas for which no enrollment pursuant to NCRWQB Order No. 2015-0023 is required by that Order, compliance with the standard conditions applicable to all Tier 1 dischargers.
  7. Comply with the terms of any applicable Streambed Alteration Permit obtained from the Department of Fish & Wildlife. Comply with the terms of a less-than-3-acre conversion exemption or timberland conversion permit, approved by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL-FIRE).
  8. Consent to an annual on-site compliance inspection, with at least 24 hours prior notice, to be conducted by appropriate County officials during regular business hours (Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, excluding holidays).
  9. Refrain from the improper storage or use of any fuels, fertilizer, pesticide, fungicide, rodenticide, or herbicide. Hazardous materials and wastes from agricultural businesses are regulated by the Humboldt County Environmental Health Division, that administers the Hazardous Materials program as one of the Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPA). This includes the application, inspection, enforcement, and reporting under the program requirements and standards set by the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA). Any uses of pesticide products shall be in compliance with State pesticide laws and regulations enforced by the County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.
  10. Pay all applicable application and annual inspection fees.
  11. Where surface water diversion provides any part of the water supply for irrigation of cannabis cultivation, the applicant shall either: 1) consent to forebear from any such diversion during the period from May 15th to October 31st of each year and establish on-site water storage for retention of wet season flows sufficient to provide adequate irrigation water for the size of the area to be cultivated, or 2) submit a water management plan prepared by a qualified person such as a licensed engineer, hydrologist, or similar qualified professional, that establishes minimum water storage and forbearance period, if required, based upon local site conditions, or 3) obtain approval from the RWQCB through enrollment pursuant to NCRWQB Order No. 2015-0023 and/or preparation of a Water Resources Protection Plan.
  12. Water is to be sourced locally (on-site) and trucked water shall not be allowed, except for emergencies. For purposes of this provision, “emergency” is defined as: “a sudden, unexpected occurrence demanding immediate action.”
  13. Comply with any special conditions applicable to that permit or parcel which may be imposed as a condition of any Coastal Development Permit, Special Permit, or Use Permit.
  14. The noise produced by a generator used for cannabis cultivation shall not be audible by humans from neighboring residences. The combined decibel level for all noise sources, including generators, measured at the property line shall be no more than 60 decibels. Where applicable, sound levels must also show that they will not result in the harassment of Marbled Murrelet or Spotted Owl species. Conformance will be evaluated using current auditory disturbance guidance prepared by the United State Fish and Wildlife Service, and further consultation where necessary.
  15. Storage of Fuel. Fuel shall be stored and handled in compliance with applicable state and local laws and regulations, and in such a way that no spillage

Performance Standards for Cultivation and Processing Activities:

  1.  Pursuant to the MMRSA, Health and Safety Code section 19322(a)(9), an applicant seeking a cultivation license shall “provide a statement declaring the applicant is an ‘agricultural employer,’ as defined in the Alatorre-Zenovich-Dunlap-Berman Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975 (Part 3.5 commencing with Section 1140) of Division 2 of the Labor Code), to the extent not prohibited by law.”
  2. Cultivators shall comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations governing California Agricultural Employers, which may include: federal and state wage and hour laws, CAL/OSHA, OSHA, California Agricultural Labor Relations Act, and the Humboldt County Code (including the Building Code).
  3. Cultivators engaged in processing shall comply with the following Processing Practices:
  • Processing operations must be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition including all work surfaces and equipment.
  • Processing operations must implement protocols which prevent processing contamination and mold and mildew growth on cannabis.
  • Employees handling cannabis in processing operations must have access to facemasks and gloves in good operable condition as applicable to their job function.
  • Employees must wash hands sufficiently when handling cannabis or use gloves.

All persons hiring employees to engage in commercial cannabis cultivation and processing shall comply with the following Employee Safety Practices:

  1. Cultivation operations and processing operations must implement safety protocols and provide all employees with adequate safety training relevant to their specific job functions, which may include:
    • Emergency action response planning as necessary;
    • Employee accident reporting and investigation policies;
    • Fire prevention;
    • Hazard communication policies, including maintenance of material safety data sheets (MSDS);
    • Materials handling policies;
    • Job hazard analyses; and
    • Personal protective equipment policies, including respiratory
  2. Cultivation operations and processing operations must visibly post and maintain an emergency contact list which includes at a minimum:
    • Operation manager contacts;
    • Emergency responder contacts;
    • Poison control contacts.

At all times, employees shall have access to safe drinking water and toilets and handwashing facilities that comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Plumbing facilities and water source must be capable of handling increased usage without adverse consequences to neighboring properties or the environment.

On site-housing provided to employees shall comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

All cultivators shall, at the time of the application for a cultivation permit, include a Processing Plan with all of the following:

  1. Summary of Processing Practices
  2. Description of location where processing will occur
  3. Estimated number of employees, if any.
  4. Summary of Employee Safety Practices
  5. Description of toilet and handwashing facilities
  6. Description of plumbing and/or septic system and whether or not the system is capable of handling increased usage.
  7. Description of source of drinking water for employees.
  8. Description of increased road use resulting from processing and a plan to minimize that impact.
  9. Description of on-site housing, if any.

Performance Standards for Mixed-Light Cultivation:

 Those cultivators using artificial lighting for mixed-light cultivation shall shield greenhouses so that little to no light escapes. Light shall not escape at a level that is visible from neighboring properties between sunset and sunrise.

The light source should comply with the International Dark Sky Association standards for Lighting Zone 0 and Lighting Zone 1, and be designed to regulate light spillage onto neighboring properties resulting from backlight, uplight, or glare (BUG). Should the Humboldt County Planning Division receive complaints that the lighting is out of alignment or not complying with these standards, within ten (10) working days of receiving written notification that a complaint has been filed, the applicant shall submit written verification that the lights’ shielding and alignment has been repaired, inspected and corrected as necessary.

55.4.12 Term of Commercial Cannabis Cultivation Zoning Clearance Certificate or Permit

55.4.12.1 Any Commercial Cannabis Cultivation Zoning Clearance Certificate, Special Permit, Use Permit, or Coastal Development Permit issued pursuant to this section shall expire after one (1) year after date of issuance, and on the anniversary date of such issuance each year thereafter, unless an annual compliance inspection has been conducted and the permitted site has been found to comply with all conditions of approval.

55.4.12.2 If the inspector or other County official determines that the site does not comply with the conditions of approval, the inspector shall serve the clearance certificate or permit holder with a written statement identifying the items not in compliance, and the action that the permit holder may take to cure the non-compliance, or file an appeal within ten (10) days of the date that the written statement is delivered to the permit holder. Personal delivery or mailing the written statement to the mailing address listed on the application by regular mail, plus three (3) days after date of mailing, shall constitute delivery. The permit holder may request a reinspection to determine whether or not the permit holder has cured all issues of non-compliance. Failure to request reinspection or to cure any items of non-compliance shall terminate the Zoning Clearance Certificate, Special Permit, or Use Permit, immediately upon the expiration of any appeal period, or final determination of the appeal if an appeal has been timely filed.

55.4.12.3 The County shall notify any state license authority, as defined by the MMRSA, whenever the County Zoning Clearance Certificate, Special Permit or Use Permit has been revoked or terminated.

55.4.13 Appeal of Inspection Determination

Within ten (10) days after delivery of the statement of non-compliance, the determination by the inspector that the site is or is not in compliance may be appealed by any interested party to the Zoning Administrator, acting as the Hearing Officer. The appeal shall be made, in writing, on a form provided by the County. The fee for filing the appeal is $100.00.

  1. The appeal shall be heard by the Hearing Officer within ten (10) business days following the filing of the appeal. The Hearing Officer shall render a written ruling on the appeal within three (3) business days following the hearing.
  2. The decision of the Hearing Officer may be appealed to the Board of Supervisors in accordance with Section 312-13 of the Humboldt County Code. If a timely appeal to the Board of Supervisors is not filed, the ruling by the Hearing Officer shall be final.

55.4.14 Retirement, Remediation, and Relocation (RRR) of Commercial Cannabis Cultivation Sites

In order to incentivize, promote, and encourage the retirement, remediation and relocation of existing cannabis cultivation operations occurring in inappropriate or marginal environmentally sensitive sites to relocate to environmentally superior sites, the following provisions shall apply:

  • Sites eligible for RRR incentives (RRR Sites) shall be those that were in operation on or before January 1, 2016 and are located in TC, TPZ, RA or AE zones with source of irrigation water from surface water diversion without DWR water right or permit or DFW streambed alteration permit on a parcel with slopes in excess of 15%.
  • Sites eligible for relocation of RRR Sites (Relocation Sites) shall be those specified in Section 55.4.8.2.1.
  • Operators of RRR Sites shall be eligible to receive a Zoning Clearance Certificate for commercial cultivation of medical marijuana on an eligible Relocation Site, for an area up to four times the area of the previously existing RRR Site, but in no event larger 20,000 sq. ft., provided that they comply with all applicable performance standards and the RRR program requirements of Section 55.4.14.4. RRR Sites may be on leased premises for agricultural purposes allowable pursuant to the exclusion from the Subdivision Map Act, Government Code section 66412 (k). More than one RRR Site Zoning Clearance Certificate may be granted on Relocation Site parcels of ten (10) acres or larger, provided that the cumulative total cultivation area for all commercial cannabis cultivation Zoning Clearance Certificates issued for that parcel does not exceed 20% of the area of prime agricultural soils on that parcel. Upon satisfaction of RRR program requirements, the County shall certify that the operator of the Relocation Site is in “good standing” for purpose of priority state licensing eligibility pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 19321 (c).

55.4.14.4 In order to receive the benefits specified in Section 55.4.14.3, the operator of a RRR Site shall prepare a plan for the full environmental remediation of the RRR Site, including removal of all cultivation related materials, equipment and improvements, regrading to preexisting contours, reseeding with native vegetation, reforestation, and habitat restoration, as determined to be appropriate by the Planning Department.  The operator shall execute an agreement to complete the work specified in the remediation plan within twelve (12) months, and shall post a bond in a sufficient amount that will allow the County to contract to complete the work specified in the plan in the event that the operator of the RRR Site fails to do so.  The operator or the record property owner of the RRR Site shall record a covenant executed by the property owner not to cultivate marijuana or disturb the remediation area on the subject property in perpetuity, with an enforcement clause that in the event that the covenant is violated, the County of Humboldt, shall on motion in Superior Court, be entitled to an immediate lien on the property in the amount necessary to remediate the property, but in no event less than the sum of $50,000.00. In the event that that the covenant is violated and the operator of the RRR Site retains any interest in the former RRR Site property, all permits for operation of the replacement RRR Site shall be terminated.

55.4.15 Humboldt Artisanal Branding

The county shall develop a program for recognition and certification of commercial cannabis cultivators meeting standards to be established by the Agricultural Commissioner, including, but not limited to, the following criteria:

  • Cultivation area of 3,000 sq. ft. or less
  • Operated by a County permit and state license holder who resides on the same parcel as the cultivation site
  • Grown exclusively with natural light
  • Meets organic certification standards or the substantial equivalent

MANUFACTURING

APPROVED

55.4.8.4 Processing Facilities for commercial cannabis for medical use for other than an appurtenant, on-premises cultivation operation as provided in 55.4.9.1 shall be a permitted use inside the Coastal Zone in zoning districts CG, MB, ML, MG, RA on parcels of 5 acres or more, and AE, subject to a Special Permit and the conditions and limitations set forth in this Section. Processing facilities shall meet the Processing Performance Standards and Employee Safety Practices enumerated in section 55.4.11(q) through (u).

55.4.8.5 Manufacturing of commercial cannabis for medical use shall be a permitted use inside the Coastal Zone in zoning districts CG, MB, ML, and MG, subject to a Special Permit and the conditions and limitations set forth in this Section.

RETAIL

APPROVED

Ord No. 2534 – Dispensary regulations approved August 18, 2015

  • NOTE: Ord No. 2534 becomes effective upon repeal of Ord No. 2511

As of Feb. 26, 2016, medical marijuana business can be permitted in the unincorporated areas of Humboldt County predicated upon the Commercial Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance, making Humboldt the first county in the state to develop a comprehensive local regulatory system that is in line with recently passed state law.

Adoption of ordinance adding Sections 313-55.3 and 314-55.3 relating to the regulation of storefront based medical marijuana collective or cooperative dispensing facilities.

Pursuant to the Board of Supervisors meeting on July 19, 2016, medical marijuana applications for retail will be available on August 19, 2016

Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance (MMLUO) – Phase III. Medical Marijuana.  Dispensing Facilities, Removal of Ban and Ordinance. Amendments in Response to the MMRSA. Case Number OR-15-02, Applies Countywide.

https://humboldt.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx

Commercial

The deadline to apply for pre-existing commercial Cannabis Activity permits is August 23, 2016.  The deadline to apply for a new commercial Cannabis Activity permits is December 31, 2016.

CannaBusiness Law has established prominence as a cutting edge leader and pioneer in providing the highest quality legal expertise in the Cannabis industry.

Contact CannaBusiness Law today to provide expert assistance in compliance With Cannabis Licensing, Permitting and the Application process relating to Commercial Cannabis in California.

COUNTY-SPECIFIC NEWS AND UPDATES