State Regulators Remind Commercial Cannabis Cultivators to Follow Existing State Regulations

cannabis Enforcement ProgramPress release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), and State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) are reminding commercial cannabis cultivators to follow existing state regulations to avoid fines and other administrative penalties.

“Environmental compliance is much less expensive than the penalties for cultivation-related violations,” said Jeremy Valverde, CDFW’s Acting Cannabis Program Director. “The state is here to help commercial cannabis cultivators of all sizes navigate the regulatory process. Cultivators can call or email regulatory staff to learn more about state requirements or attend a permitting workshop, when they are scheduled later this year.”

Under Fish and Game Code, section 12025, civil penalties can be ordered against a landowner or occupant who has violated one or more environmental laws in conjunction with cannabis cultivation. Fines are per day and include up to $8,000 for each unpermitted water diversion and up to $20,000 for each instance where harmful materials may discharge into waters. Both licensed and unlicensed cultivators can be charged. Since 2016, CDFW has filed 10 administrative complaints against 10 cultivators. In September 2019, a trial judge ordered a landowner liable for his tenants’ actions and upheld a penalty of over $680,000.

With CDFA’s new citation authority, illegal cultivators can face fines of up to $30,000 per day, per violation of commercial cannabis laws. Failure to get a license or obey environmental regulations can result in civil penalties and possible licensing actions against the commercial cannabis license. In most cases, a person engaging in illegal commercial cannabis activity can face civil penalties of up to three times the amount of what an actual cannabis license costs, ranging from $3,615 to $233,715 per day.

The State Water Board’s Cannabis Cultivation Policy requires that commercial cannabis cultivators obtain regulatory approvals and follow certain principles and guidelines in order to protect water quality and stream flows. Civil penalties of up to $5,000 per day can be levied for illegal waste discharges to streams, lakes or groundwater, and penalties up to $500 per day plus $2,500 per acre-foot can be assessed for illegally diverting or using water. Additional penalties can be assessed for operating a cultivation site in a manner that does not adequately protect the environment, in violation of the requirements described in the Cultivation Policy.

Those seeking more information about current regulatory requirements can view presentations from a recent online workshop at or attend one of the cannabis cultivation permitting workshops that will be scheduled later this year. Workshop locations and times will be announced on CDFA, CDFW and State Water Board websites as soon as they’re scheduled. In addition, cultivators can email or call any agency with their questions; please see the contact information listed below.

To learn more about CDFW’s cannabis program, please visit or email [email protected]. To report environmental crimes, such as water diversions, pollution and poaching, call the CalTIP hotline at (888) 334-2258 or text information to “TIP411” (847411).

For information on the state’s cannabis cultivation licensing process and the California Cannabis Track-and-Trace Metrc System, please visit the CDFA CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division website at, call (833) CALGROW or (833) 225-4769, or send an email to [email protected]. To report suspected illegal cannabis cultivation or related complaints, call (833) WEED-TIP or (833) 933-3847.

To learn more about the State Water Board’s role in cannabis cultivation permitting, please visit For permitting and compliance assistance, email [email protected]gov or call (916) 341-5580 (Cannabis Cultivation General Order), or email [email protected] or call (916) 319-9427 (cannabis cultivation water rights).



  • Go gettum Gavin.

    • LMFAO. Yeeaahhhhh like they follow any rules to begin with!

      • I’m still laughing!!!!! Riiiggggtttttt follow the rules! And when you don’t? O, pay more money in “fines” to people who don’t follow the rules . Gotta love this country! I mean county.

  • Fuck these guys! And John Ford too! They deserve zero respect for the way they have treated the little people. It’s obvious that their system is crumbling right now in this crisis. Yet they will pretend to keep the heat and pressure and stress on you. There will be no funds for enforcement this year. Go for it, everybody! This is the year we destroy their scammed-up pay-to-play mega-farms. Next year Biden will deliver their death blow with his tilt to BigPharma. The black market/original market will overcome and continue…

    • Pharmstheproblem

      Letters cost very little to send to the offender, been there and fought and paid… Good luck on your theory though!

      • Thanks! As far as I know….Humboldt County sends the letters with civil fines/ abatements. many like you are settling out but these fines will most probably be deemed unconstitutional when a legal class action lawsuit gets through (yes- that could be years away and that’s why people settle now). The state agencies do not get to levy fines based on satellite images. They must actually document in person. That costs a lot of money…which they will not have this year. Of course the massive overproduction will result in a market collapse- possibly worse than 2019. That market collapse will destroy permitted farms as the black market can produce at much lower costs… Please anybody…feel free to weigh in if you know anything. And everybody wash your hands and stay healthy!

    • i agree with you but, Biden…. Really. they guy is a bumbling moron. Its pretty obvious he will not be president.

    • Fuck Biden
      1 he wont get elected
      2 he cant articulate anything

      Blame your supervisors not Trump [edit]

    • Joe Biden? I don’t know what’s funnier now….

  • If SARS-Cov2 is our WW2 moment, shouldn’t the soil and water be used for food production?

    Who’s going to buy 14 million pounds of cannabis in a depression?

    Where as even today there are food shortages, and cracks in the system beginning to show.

    A reality also in our near future is that what foods that are available may be rerouted to higher population density areas.

    • Yeah, not seeing pot smokers giving up their habit.
      Then there is all of the medical side of it that is not going anywhere because people are finding relief using those products.
      Overproduction? Don’t think so now that the greenrush has been mostly quashed.
      I’m not seeing your doomsday scenario.

      • Avg. daily unemployment filings in CA: 20,000

        2 days ago: 40,000

        Yesterday: 70,000

        We already entered a recession.

        The reality of unemployment numbers across the country raising everyday for 3-6 months will put us in a depression.

        It’s not doomsday. It’s a real possiblity.

        Holiday market in Weaverville is out of meat, beans, rice, pasta, soup, yogurt and more until this weekend.

        If the delivery truck makes it this time. The truck didn’t make the last delivery.

    • Everyone needs to grow as much good as you can! Kale, onions, potatoes & carrots are easy to grow. Just put them in the same plot with your weed. It’s a no-brainier! Weed farmers turned into veggie& weed farmers! Growers forever…in the breakdown of civilizations, they always start over with agrarian practices. People need food everyday.

      • Risking our lives instead of growing our own food

        Yeah too bad Greenhouse’s make you a “criminal” per Humboldt county in the tens of thousands per day. ca does not require a permit for a greenhouse of any size FYI. I would be harvesting my winter crop right now instead of risking my life at a store, had I not been forced to remove a tiny greenhouse Used for veggies (It costs thousands to permit even for veggies). How many ways can our stupidvisors threaten our very lives and amidst corona virus?
        You can thank bohner and Estelle funnel-your-money-here for the greenhouse and Cannabis and logging legacy 10k daily fines. certainly thank your local media too which has said next to nothing about this total attack against thousands of local landowners for over 2 years. Beware of who you trust around here folks especially for your “news.” Estelle has likely paid off the “news”/ promised favors to keep quiet about the thousands of property owners under attack and millions at stake each.
        Kmud news person tayna admitted fennel “pressured their news Dept” live on air. It’s all right there for you to see and hear. demand the real stories be known! Local reporters constantly get pushed out who actually cover the real stories from . It’s regular practice that’s why you will notice incredibly high turnover. Community funded radio? Yeah we fund it, while ford and Estelle get an unlimited airtime propaganda machine. No one is organized bc no one knows what the hell is happening to their neighbors bc the “news” doesn’t report anything about it.

        • //” ca does not require a permit for a greenhouse of any size FYI. “//

          As a builder who has built numerous greenhouses I can tell you from experience, that’s a total crock

          Greenhouses are Group U horticulture structures in the CA building code and under most circumstances most certainly fall under building codes / permits

  • It would sure be nice if they pursued those who did trespass grows on private land that managed to incur some of these huge fines on absentee landowners with as much vigor😠

    • Agreed! The civil fines being levied against landowners who are absent is disgusting. Where are the massive fines against the timber companies for all the grows on their land? How about fining the national government for every grow found on their land?

  • I hear due to the corona virus the cannabis enforcement unit will not be opperating this year.
    Many people on the black market at talking about planting huge crops this year.
    There will be no enforcement because police will be re-prioritized to community safety.
    Word is there will be no code enforcement or any raids this year.

    Humboldt its time to Plant!

  • Rules for Track and Trace? Now I’m laughing. Law makers and growers alike know that is a total joke. Every licensed grower’s product is going out the back door using the old Black Market. Too many farms and not enough dispensaries but puff up like a peacock, strut around, and try and let them know who’s still in charge….. not.

    • The Hermit of Grizzly Mountain

      I don’t see any reminders from state regulators to commercial dispensary owners to follow existing state regulations.

      The sweet $ spot for dispensaries is the percentage of their total sales which they are allowed to produce themselves (and control the whole silo, so to speak). This is supposed to be capped at 20%, with the remaining 80% being purchased (through middlemen) from farmers. But is this even being enforced? How many dispensaries are depressing purchases from licensed farmers in favor of selling a higher percentage of their home-grown strains? It would seem that any farms which do not also own dispensaries will be forever at a disadvantage.

      Also, Hollywood thrived during the Great Depression, as folks needed some escape from dreary reality. I expect cannabis consumption will continue to grow in the current economic climate.

      • //”the percentage of their total sales which they are allowed to produce themselves (and control the whole silo, so to speak). This is supposed to be capped at 20%, with the remaining 80% being purchased (through middlemen) from farmers. “//

        Total nonsense. No such rules in CA.

        Other than testing facilities, 100% vertical integration is allowed in CA with no limits or restrictions.

    • You don’t know what you’re talking about.

    • Yep. The legal ones I know are shoveling in millions of dollars in that filthy germ infested stuff they call cash.

  • Maybe the State should levy fines on Humboldt County for letting so many PERMITTED grows run roughshod over the rules and ordinances, not follow site plans and disturb neighborhoods.
    You know you are guilty of being slackers, Code Enforcement and Planning Department. Slackers. You’ve got some real asshole PERMITTED growers that you do nothing about. Get your shit together, people are sick of waiting.

  • * paper permits don’t Actually stop people from engaging in bad behavior..Humboldt county actually got award 🏅 for big brother abatement program .
    The Humboldt County Planning and Building Department is using satellite footage to come across grows that are not in compliance through the Humboldt Environmental Impact Reduction Program, a press release said. The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will receive the CSAC Challenge Award on March 10 for the program.

  • Yeah fuck these guys …fine the property and you can have it back and move on my friend

  • We Don't Need No Stinking Permit

    How about start with the farms that are NOT state permitted, yet are allowed to keep growing and selling on black market! Humboldt, what are you doing? Is this a simple protection racket you are running? My neighbors have NEVER grown the amount of weed they did last year and sucked as much water as they did and they had zero worries about getting busted. Hopefully things change this year. My 6 might just end up being males!

  • Pretty sure the state should focus there energy else where

  • Seen This Game Before

    The more they talk the less they will do. There will be no money for enforcement. We will see a few token early busts publicized loudly with stern warnings and that is all. The more they threaten the less they will do. It’s a scare tactic and a paper tiger. John Ford will send out his papers but actual busts will not happen.

    • Because it’s illegal! They can’t bust you without PROFF that you are growing cannabis! Grow your tightened up greenhouse with re-may over it and the y can’t have proff what you are doing with that greenhouse. They can’t enter your property with out proff! Supervisors know it. Sheriffs know it. What the county is doing is illegal people. Wake up! You all have been dooped into believing you have no rights! There letters ar threats with no backbone. Every time you get one send it back saying your not growing cannibis. They have to prove you are. Simple

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