Aug 11, 2016

County releases deadlines for registering medical cannabis cultivation sites and deadlines for cultivation permit applications

As our community works to comply with new and complex state and local regulations relating to commercial cannabis cultivation, there are a few important dates coming up that you should be aware of.

Tuesday, Aug. 23
This is the deadline to register an existing medical cannabis cultivation site with Humboldt County to be eligible for “good standing”. Under California’s new Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA), medical cannabis farmers who were in operation before January 1st will be eligible for priority processing for a state license when they become available, provided they were in good standing with their city or county. By timely registering and obtaining your Humboldt County permit you may be eligible for a “good standing” determination following review by the Humboldt County Sheriff, District Attorney, Agriculture Commissioner, and Division of Environmental Health, and successful completion of the permit process. To meet the deadline, registration submittals must be received, postmarked or delivered electronically by August 23rd.

Please note that registration is not the same as applying for a local permit. After completing the registration process, you will still need to apply for a cultivation permit with the county. Beginning in 2018, you will need a county permit and must have applied for a state license to legally operate a medical cannabis cultivation site in Humboldt County.

Saturday, Dec. 31st
This is the deadline to apply for a cultivation permit with the county. Following the recent passage of the landmark Commercial Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance (CMMLUO) this January, Humboldt County became the first county in the state to adopt comprehensive local regulations for commercial activities involving medical cannabis. With opportunities for local permitting and experience and expertise developed over decades, Humboldt County farmers are now at a unique advantage to be first in line when the state licensing process unfolds in 2018.

If you do not apply for a local cultivation permit by Dec. 31, you will not be able to apply for a local cultivation permit until after the county completes an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that studies the environmental impacts of commercial cannabis activity (including cultivation) in the county, and the Board of Supervisors enacts a new local ordinance allowing you to do so.

The EIR and legislative process can be time-consuming and controversial, sometimes taking years to complete. Having to wait until the EIR and new ordinance is done may cause delays as you transition your medical cannabis cultivation business to the legal marketplace. Cultivators are therefore encouraged to apply for a local permit by the end of the year.

If you have questions about the registration or permitting process, please contact the Planning & Building Department at 707-445-7446. You may also reach the Cannabis Services Division via the 24-hr Cannabis Hotline 707-268-3795 or by emailing:

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