California has 58 counties and 482 incorporated cities across the state, each with the option to create its own rules or ban marijuana altogether. In this California Cannabis Countdown series, we plan to cover who is banning, who is waiting, and who is embracing Californias change to legalize marijuana permits, regulations, taxes and all. For each city and county, well discuss its location, history with cannabis, current law, and proposed law to give you a clearer picture of where to locate your cannabis business, how to keep it legal, and what you will and wont be allowed to do.
Our last California Cannabis Countdown post was onthe City of Lynwood, and before that, the City of Coachella, Los Angeles County, theCity of Los Angeles, theCity of Desert Hot Springs,Sonoma County, theCity of Sacramento, theCity of Berkeley,Calaveras County,Monterey Countyand theCity of Emeryville.
Welcome to the California Cannabis Countdown.
Nevada County has long been a popular spot for cannabis cultivation due to its location and climate, but many longtime growers in the area were displaced in 2012 when the County passed restrictive cannabis regulations. In early 2016, the County banned all outdoor cultivation but has since repealed the ban and adopted less restrictive, though still very limited regulations for indoor and outdoor cultivation that have not been well-received by local growers.
Location.Nevada County is located in the Sierra Nevada region of Northern California, bordering the state of Nevada. It was once home to the California Gold Rush of 1849 and lays claim to many firsts and historic moments, including the first long-distance telephone, the only railroad in the West that was never robbed, and the historic Holbrooke Hotel. The County itself has stated that its unique geographic and climatic conditions, which include dense forested areas receiving substantial precipitation, along with the sparse population in many areas of the County, provide conditions that are favorable to marijuana cultivation. Marijuana growers can achieve a high per-plant yield because of the Countys favorable growing conditions.
History with Cannabis. On May 8, 2012, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors passed Ordinance No. 2349, which created regulations for medical cannabis cultivation.
On November 4, 2014, voters in Nevada County rejected Measure S, an initiative from the Nevada County branch of Americans for Safe Access designed to overturn the Countys ordinance and replace it with less restrictive provisions.
On January 12, 2016, the Board adopted emergency Ordinance No. 2405, banning all outdoor cultivation and limiting indoor cultivation to 12 plants per property. At the same time, the Board passed Resolution No. 16-038 to submit Measure W to the voters of the County.
On February 9, 2016, the Board passed Resolution No. 16-082, which clarified that if Measure W was not approved by a majority of Nevada County voters, the Board intended to repeal the ban on outdoor cultivation and adopt other regulations at the next available meeting after the election.
On June 7, 2016, voters in Nevada County rejected Measure W, an initiative proposed by the Board of Supervisors to ban all outdoor cultivation, commercial cultivation, and all other commercial cannabis activities. As a result, the emergency ordinance from January 12th remained in place.
On July 26, 2016, to follow through on the Boards intention to repeal the ban on outdoor cultivation, the Board approved urgency Ordinance No. 2416 to allow limited outdoor cultivation in the County.
Current Cannabis Laws. Under Ordinance No. 2416, cultivation is permitted in residential and agricultural zones in Nevada County in very limited amounts.
In residential zones:
- Indoor and outdoor cultivation is prohibited in all R-1, R-2, and R-3 zones
- In areas designated as residential and estate and zoned R-A:
- On parcels of 5 acres or less, indoor and outdoor cultivation is prohibited
- On parcels greater than 5 acres and up to 10 acres, a maximum of 12 plants may be cultivated indoors only; outdoor cultivation is prohibited
- On parcels greater than 10 acres and up to 20 acres, a maximum of 16 plants may be cultivated indoors, outdoors, or a combination of both; a maximum of 12 plants may be cultivated indoors; outdoor cultivation must be on one contiguous staked grow area not exceeding 800 square feet
- On parcels greater than 20 acres, a maximum of 25 plants may be cultivated indoors, outdoors, or a combination of both; a maximum of 12 plants may be cultivated indoors; outdoor cultivation must be on one contiguous staked grow area not exceeding 1,000 square feet
In agricultural zones (e.g., AG, AE, FR, TPZ, and areas designated as rural and zoned R-A):
- On parcels 2 acres or less, indoor and outdoor cultivation is prohibited
- On parcels greater than 2 acres and up to 5 acres, a maximum of 6 plants may be cultivated outdoors only; cultivation must be on one contiguous staked grow area not exceeding 300 square feet
- On parcels greater than 5 acres and up to 10 acres, a maximum of 12 plants may be cultivated indoors, outdoors, or a combination of both; outdoor cultivation must be on one contiguous staked grow area not exceeding 600 square feet
- On parcels greater than 10 acres and up to 20 acres, a maximum of 16 plants may be cultivated indoors, outdoors, or a combination of both; a ...