Two Important Deadlines for Medical Cannabis Growers

Marijuana bud after rain

Rain on Cannabis [Photo by Kym Kemp]

Press release from Humboldt County:

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

Additional Info…



  • What is the county going to do about the thousands of people who don’t register ? Are we going to see the CAMP days of the 80s again ?

    • I doubt it we don’t really know who got busted ,so far they havnt done any cartels except the one a month or so ago.for 3000 plants buy Rio dell. No big bulgarians grows yet . And I doubt very much that the enept Downey ,and his boys are to scared to do something about it ,so biz niz as usual Downey busting the mid range guys they are easy to bust ,and I guess we will wait and see.

    • Henchman Of Justice

      If by thousands you mean personal grows of 6 or less plants, registration and permits not needed.

    • Not like the 80s
      They will just come cut it and leave it. No wasted time with prosecutions. It will be cut an dry

    • “Beginning 2018 you will needs county permit and applied for a state license to legally operate a medical cannabis site in humboldt county” does that mean it’s legal now?

  • Its a Trojan horse

  • Typical “hurry up before its too late” bullshit. The Feds have made their decision. Schedule I narcotic. We have seen this story before. Those who complied in Mendo were turned over to the Feds. Register yourself, move to the gheto, get on the train, get in the showers.

    • bottlebro, what is happening in Colorado regarding the feds and permits/licensing? Are the feds going after people in Colorado holding permits/licenses?

      • Are you crazy? Doj and the feds have been after state and city approved dispensaries/growers for years. An interesting caveat in Eric Holder’s deputy’s memo: “preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.” 47.7% (47,797,535/100,206,720) acres of CA is federal land. So use and posession is still illegal in approx half the state. It is also virtually impossible to leave Hum. Co. without travelling through Fed. land.

      • Thank you! This is what I try to point out everyday. But THE FEDS THE FEDS i hear from many people.
        The FEDS have not gone after legal recreational grows in CO, WA and OR.
        Why would they do it in Humboldt County?

    • They are leaving folks in Colorado Washington and Oregon alone.
      I think they are sick of the disrespect of the community. As a long term resident I welcome it

  • The thing says, “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.”
    After the election this year Marijuana will almost certainly be legal beyond “medical” to “recreational”. So is there even a reason to get a medical marijuana growing license permit? Are they saying that to be able to get a growing permit in the future you need a medical growing permit first? When the new law passes in November will marijuana be instantly legal for recreational use and cultivation? I guess theoretically the county cannot have a permitting procedure for recreational cultivation in place or on the books until it is actually legal? If I don’t want to grow medical marijuana now for whatever reason but am looking forward to growing it for recreational use why should I have to sign up for a medical marijuana growing permit? It seems like everything they are talking about now is for medical marijuana but recreational marijuana is going to be legal in a few short months. This whole thing is such a clusterfuck.

    • No it won’t be a free for all on growing, you will have to pay the thousands of dollars it’s going to take to get a permit. Jim woods cottage industry bill to help small farmers was just shot down, of course, they are looking to tax as much as they can, its all about money.
      The cops will then keep busting those without permits, thus if you’re poor ur more likely to get busted.

    • Get ur papers in

      If you want to grow anything in 2017 or beyond, go get a permit. The county is very much aware of the recreational measure and is trying to line ppl up so they transition into the rec market. Rt now tho, you can’t give someone a permit that is not legal at least at the state level.

    • when colorado went to recreational, there were few people that already had permits for growing medical (since medical was a thing long before) and so I’ve heard people that had medical grow permits were able to very easily transition into the rec. game

  • Need the : Growing Weed so People Can Get High Permit.


    • So how much can one grow for personal use ?

      • +2000 sq ft of canopy is the smallest sized commercial mmj grows being given permits. Smaller than that and there is no need to file anything.

        • Really ? Sounds good to me .

        • Scooter, I believe that the the 2,000sf+ exemption is only for the Regional Water Board’s Cannabis Cultivation Discharge Waiver program. Any size of commerical grow will require a county permit and state license beginning in 2018. At that time each medical patient will be allowed 100sf of cultivation space without a commercial license. Furthermore, to state that ‘there is no need to file anything’ is egregious as there are a myriad of related regulations that folks ought to be aware of if they are concerned about avoiding regulatory enforcement actions.

          • AnonymousHumboldtian

            Hollie your comment is one of the first ones that doesn’t have wild inaccuracies. Thank you for setting scooter straight. I don’t know where he got his info.

          • hollie is correct to an extent. Yes the over 2000sq ft you must do the water discharge program. you do NOT need to sign up for commercial permit. I mean ya, they want you to, but it is not required and honestly to be teir 1 you have to be growing over 2k sq feet to sign up, and your parcel has to be larger then 5 acres. There will be tons of people that don’t sign up that are growing more then 2000sq ft. Will some of them get busted? Yes. Is it for certain that you will? Nope. So basically if you don’t sign up, your rolling the dice (just like you do every year) lastly, if you can grow up to 500sq feet, without signing up for ‘your patients’ as long as you have 5X 215’s to cover it. (you can only have 5 215’s per parcel)

            • Saucy, you are oversimplifying the permit issue. The only way you can grow personal, non-commercial cannabis for anyone other than yourself is to be the primary caregiver for that person. You are the primary caregiver for a person only if that person has designated you to be the PC, AND if you have consistently assumed responsibility for the health, safety or housing of that person BEFORE supplying them with pot.

              Any pot you are growing that is going to any person other than yourself or a patient for whom you are a primary caregiver must be permitted by the county. Even if it is only plant.

  • Dastardly Duo (Government grower)

    The county planner says everyone is SoHum is either a grower or works for a grower. I guess that means when they are able to control a good percentage of the available work we can all have a government job with a defined benefit pension.

  • Thanks for the reminder Kym – whether or not one plans to comply, it’s good to know the deadlines. Some of us are going to go”compliance light”, which means we probably have to work out a payment plan with the various officials ;^p
    “Whoa, dude, what’s that weird crunching noise coming from over the hill?” “Oh, that’s just the sound of deadlines crashing”

  • Hravest Season.... I Mean Busting Season About to Begin!

    The real question is what is going to happen AFTER the 23rd? Is C.A.M.P. Going to be raiding everyone that didn’t sign up? Could get crazy the end of Aug. & Sept. Get those black boxes trimmed up fast and your numbers down if u didn’t sign up. They could pull Island Mountain / Hoopa type raids on ranches across the county. This is going to be one wild end to the harvest season. With all the huge numbers out there, thousands of plants and hundreds if not thousands of pounds on each parcel, the cops are going to have a field day. Might need to bring in the National Guarad. Lol.

    • Hravest Season.... I Mean Busting Season About to Begin!

      For those that have lived prior to prop 215 doesn’t this feel like the Calm Before The Storm? “Just when life looked like easy street there is danger at your door!”

  • Choppers are now flying lower than all my years in this county…seems there trying to get a point across.nearly all permit applicants are in a bind as there illegal and the county stamp of final approval will be a slow process …

    • Rizzo guerrilla-recon

      The message from the county. If you don’t like it leave…

      …to Adelanto

    • not really, people that have turned in their ‘registration of activity’ should have a piece of paper from the county saying they have done so, if and when the choppers land, present them with the piece of paper and they should go away. What happened in blocksburg is the very first spot I’ve heard that had turned in the RoA and got chopped. But rumor has it something glassy was goin on.

      • As stated by Downey permits ,215 ,it’s only a ” legal defense” as cultivation remains illegal . at least there verbally promising to leave people alone whose farms are pending regulatory approval -which will be starting in 2018 .

        • I’m not sure I agree with you entirely Llc. I know someone ten or so years ago that the police showed up at there place after erradicating the neighbors crops. (wasn’t CAMP was sherriffs office I believe) anyway the person ran outside with a stack of 215 papers and other papers that said the plants were for patients that he was the care taker for. Cops looked it over, counted the plants, decided everything looked legit and then left.

    • We haven’t seen real chopper activity in 10-15 years. If this year seems heavy you weren’t here for the days of 3 choppers and parcel by parcel eradication. The good ole days, when Rod and the I Deals told our story.

  • I can’t seem to get a straight answer from the county they tell me any size garden requires county approval and mob style fees but all I want is to continue my small medical garden without being hassled because I didn’t pay off the right people or government agencies. I call bullshit all they want is full control in a couple years I think we’re all going to have to pay. You all know how taxes creep up over the years. My friend in the county already said they want a seperate building and at least 10 people to take care of the permits that’s millions of dollars a year on sairies and benefits not to mention operating expenses. I don’t think a few permits will ever cover all that. There going to want it all and more. Then add the state fees and taxes along with the federal taxes you might owe more than you make which is the way of our great nation..

    • not true. ‘Any size’ garden currently cannot be registered as a commercial grow site. Not sure exactly how much you are growing, but if you have a 215 you are legally allowed to grow 100sq feet. (plant count does NOT matter anymore) (you do not need/ can’t sign up for commercial) additionally each property is allowed to have a maximum of 5X 215s. This means you can legally have up to 500sq feet if you have the paperwork. (when your growing for ‘patients’ your not supposed to be selling it, just FYI) Additional rules include that if your property is less then 5 acres you can’t sign up to be commercial grower. Teir 1 registry is 2000sq feet up to 5k sq feet, teir 2 is 5k up to 10ksq feet, teir 3 is 10k up to (something ridiculous) sq feet. This whole process has been a big part of my life for the past several months, I believe everything I just wrote is accurate.

      • Thanks for the info I just worry that if I don’t pay there going to take me down. I guess it’s just too many years of hiding from the local law. I have a feeling that when there done sucking all they can from the bigger gardens they have no choice but to hit the small ones up for some bucks.

      • So what about between 500 and 2000 sq.’?

      • Correction:
        You can only grow on 5 acre of larger properties zoned RESIDENTIAL
        Properties of less than an acre zoned AG / AE can grow up to 2,500 sqft
        And properties of 1 acre or more zoned AG / AE can grow up to 5000 sqft with a zoning clearance certificate from the county building department.

  • After my last post I received an email from the county stating much of what you said. They also sent me links to there policy pertaining to medical grows. I always thought I was limited to 100 sq feet but it shows I can do 200 sq feet with my parcel size and 400 with both our cards. Without plant limits which I always thought it was 99 Looks like I’m putting in a larger depo. Lol

    • huh, that’s first I’ve heard about parcel size contributing to how much sq feet your allowed to grow with a 215. But If that’s what the county said, I’m sure they are correct. As for the 99 plant count, at one time I believe that was the limit. Not sure when exactly the rules changed but now I can assure you plant count doesn’t matter only sq footage does. Make that hoop bigger friend.

    • Care to share the size parcel yer on?

  • Everyone talks like they know it all. People claiming they will be left alone and are “permitted” to grow a class 1 narcotic. The smoke will settle… We will see.
    Theory; government and officials know all the work, time, and money it would take to bust all the illegal and tax invading grows in humboldt. (every grow is technically illegal- “class one narcotic”)
    So what if they came up with a trick/plan to get at least half, maybe more of these criminals to turn themselves in? “Let’s make permits that they can apply for, oh and we will say it’s easier to get one if you say you have been doing it for years!” So at the end of the day what do the Feds have? A fat list of people that have been “cultivating marijuana on this parcel for many years now” and have also been avoiding paying the taxes on a 50,000 square foot canopys profits for many years now. What makes it better is they signed it and amitted to it already. Easy.
    I don’t know if this theory is right. But I feel bottom line you can’t beat big business and when the really sharks feel it’s safe they will get in the water and everyone thinking they have a shot of being the face of humboldt pot can forget about it.

    • LMAO!! have you been living under a rock? Times have changed, I will be absolutely SHOCKED if feds roll up and try to prosecute everyone that signed up for this, you know why? Because they haven’t done that for growers in colorado, or oregon. So if this is just a ‘trick’ I don’t see why humboldt growers would be the only ones/ first to go down as people are making 6 digit salaries that grow commercially in colorado. And as for what you said about the big sharks, sure they will wait and see how it plays out before they get in the water, however even when they do get in the water it’s not gonna be ‘game over’ for the small fish. There will be TONS of people who will refuse to buy the corporate weed. I like to compare weed to beer. Raise your hand if you consistently go to the store and buy ‘budweiser’…Didn’t think so. Micro brews are way better.

      • I know times are changing.and the people that are applying for new grow sights are smart. But don’t you think it’s a bit crazy for people to sign and state something admitting to illegal grow and not pay taxes on a 50,000 square foot canopy for the last several years. Those grows in col wash and org got set up when it was legal. At this moment how is it any different in California legally then when all the clubs that got shut down by the Feds years back. I’m sure grower or not you can come up with a guess to how much weight a 50k canopy could produce. People are stating they have been cultivating that much for many years. Do you think that their income tax for each year has 5000 pounds sold to clubs? If the Feds want easy bait it would be right there for them. They all signed and attached google images to prove it.

        • you make some good points, you are admitting to doing something that is illegal and have been doing it for several years. However, if you walked into a police station and told them you drove home drunk every night for the past two years, do you think you would get arrested? I’m not sure but I doubt it. As for the IRS hitting people up for backed income taxes, I don’t think they can do that, but guess we shall see. And yes growers in colorado didn’t start until it was ‘legal’ but how does that make what there currently doing O.k. according to the feds? It’s still not legal according to them. There still growing a schedule 1 narcotic even if they didn’t start doing it until after there state said it was ‘legal’. Moral of my story, Yes there is huge risk and only time will tell what happens.

          • The IRS has 7 years to hit people for back taxes as far as I understand. They say even the Feds fear the IRS. Best believe the IRS will be getting their piece of this!

      • I don’t consistently go to the store and buy Budweiser. I buy Lagunitas, which is already half owned by Heineken. Most of the small fish will be washed away when this weed thing plays out. If the big fish and small fish are both selling OG, the big fish will be able to sell it cheaper and hire the best growers to sell the best product. A few hardcore, didactic, fanatics will boycott big biz but most will do what they do now; they will buy the best product at the cheapest price. Perhaps a weed version of microbrews will evolve where certain breeders come up with unique strains that catch on, but that takes time. Most growers aren’t breeders. Even IF a craft version of weed evolves from the small fish (instead of the big fish), the majority of the small fish will sell out to the big fish and cash in. Many microbrewery’s are doing it as we speak. That’s just life.

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