California and Washington Cultivation Compliance – Guide and Law
In California, The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is the lead agency for the promulgation of rules and the issuing of licenses for cultivation according to the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), “a community based, non-profit organization that advocates for science-based protection and restoration of Northwest California’s Forests”.
Starting in 2018 the Department of Food and Agriculture will issue at least 9 types of cultivation licenses plus one license for nurseries. “Cultivation” means any activity involving the planting, growing, harvesting, drying, curing, grading, or trimming of cannabis.
The legislation creates outdoor, indoor, and mixed light licenses for farms ranging in size from 5,000 square feet to 1 acre. Over the next two years the Department of Food and Agriculture will work with other agencies to develop specific requirements for cultivation licenses and rules to protect natural resources and watersheds.
Meanwhile in Washington, medical cannabis law regulates grow operations at home and in cooperatives.
“There is medical evidence that some patients with terminal or debilitating medical conditions may, under their health care professional’s care, benefit from the medical use of marijuana.” -Washington Law
Specific Washington laws on cultivation are outlined below for Cooperatives and “Housing Units”.
69.51A.250 Cooperatives—Qualifying patients or designated providers may form—Requirements—Restrictions on locations—State liquor and cannabis board may adopt rules.
(1) Qualifying patients or designated providers may form a cooperative and share responsibility for acquiring and supplying the resources needed to produce and process marijuana only for the medical use of members of the cooperative. No more than four qualifying patients or designated providers may become members of a cooperative under this section and all members must hold valid recognition cards. All members of the cooperative must be at least twenty-one years old. The designated provider of a qualifying patient who is under twenty-one years old may be a member of a cooperative on the qualifying patient’s behalf. All plants grown in the cooperative must be purchased or cloned from a plant purchased from a licensed marijuana producer as defined in RCW 69.50.101.
(2) Qualifying patients and designated providers who wish to form a cooperative must register the location with the state liquor and cannabis board and this is the only location where cooperative members may grow or process marijuana. This registration must include the names of all participating members and copies of each participant’s recognition card. Only qualifying patients or designated providers registered with the state liquor and cannabis board in association with the location may participate in growing or receive useable marijuana or marijuana-infused products grown at that location.
(3) No cooperative may be located in any of the following areas:
(a) Within one mile of a marijuana retailer;
(b) Within the smaller of either:
(i) One thousand feet of the perimeter of the grounds of any elementary or secondary school, playground, recreation center or facility, child care center, public park, public transit center, library, or any game arcade that admission to which is not restricted to persons aged twenty-one years or older; or
(ii) The area restricted by ordinance, if the cooperative is located in a city, county, or town that has passed an ordinance pursuant to RCW69.50.331(8); or
(c) Where prohibited by a city, town, or county zoning provision.
(4) The state liquor and cannabis board must deny the registration of any cooperative if the location does not comply with the requirements set forth in subsection (3) of this section.
(5) If a qualifying patient or designated provider no longer participates in growing at the location, he or she must notify the state liquor and cannabis board within fifteen days of the date the qualifying patient or designated provider ceases participation. The state liquor and cannabis board must remove his or her name from connection to the cooperative. Additional qualifying patients or designated providers may not join the cooperative until sixty days have passed since the date on which the last qualifying patient or designated provider notifies the state liquor and cannabis board that he or she no longer participates in that cooperative.
(6) Qualifying patients or designated providers who participate in a cooperative under this section:
(a) May grow up to the total amount of plants for which each participating member is authorized on their recognition cards, up to a maximum of sixty plants. At the location, the qualifying patients or designated providers may possess the amount of useable marijuana that can be produced with the number of plants permitted under this subsection, but no more than seventy-two ounces;
(b) May only participate in one cooperative;
(c) May only grow plants in the cooperative and if he or she grows plants in the cooperative may not grow plants elsewhere;
(d) Must provide assistance in growing plants. A monetary contribution or donation is not to be considered assistance under this section. Participants must provide nonmonetary resources and labor in order to participate; and
(e) May not sell, donate, or otherwise provide marijuana, marijuana concentrates, useable marijuana, or marijuana-infused products to a person who is not participating under this section.
(7) The location of the cooperative must be the domicile of one of the participants. Only one cooperative may be located per property tax parcel. A copy of each participant’s recognition card must be kept at the location at all times.
(8) The state liquor and cannabis board may adopt rules to implement this section including:
(a) Any security requirements necessary to ensure the safety of the cooperative and to reduce the risk of diversion from the cooperative;
(b) A seed to sale traceability model that is similar to the seed to sale traceability model used by licensees that will allow the state liquor and cannabis board to track all marijuana grown in a cooperative.
(9) The state liquor and cannabis board or law enforcement may inspect a cooperative registered under this section to ensure members are in compliance with this section. The state liquor and cannabis board must adopt rules on reasonable inspection hours and reasons for inspections.
Effective date—2016 c 170: See note following RCW 69.50.325.
Findings—Intent—Effective dates—2015 2nd sp.s. c 4: See notes following RCW 69.50.334.
Effective date—2015 c 70 §§ 12, 19, 20, 23-26, 31, 35, 40, and 49: See note following RCW 69.50.357.
Short title—Findings—Intent—References to Washington state liquor control board—Draft legislation—2015 c 70: See notes following RCW 66.08.012.
69.51A.260 Housing unit—No more than fifteen plants may be grown or located—Exception—Civil penalties.
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter and even if multiple qualifying patients or designated providers reside in the same housing unit, no more than fifteen plants may be grown or located in any one housing unit other than a cooperative established pursuant to RCW 69.51A.250.
(2) Neither the production nor processing of marijuana or marijuana-infused products pursuant to this section nor the storage or growing of plants may occur if any portion of such activity can be readily seen by normal unaided vision or readily smelled from a public place or the private property of another housing unit.
(3) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may create and enforce civil penalties, including abatement procedures, for the growing or processing of marijuana and for keeping marijuana plants beyond or otherwise not in compliance with this section.
Would the following guidelines be a good starting point to restoring patient cultivation rights in Hawaii?* (comment below)
No limit of plant sizes (tissue culture, seedlings, clones and flower plants included)
A permit from local planning departments would be issued through an online registration process easy enough for patients of all ages and capabilities to complete. Provide help via phone if necessary for certain patients.
Patient cultivation permits based on size of grow area eg; up to 2,500 sq ft within 20 miles of a retail dispensary. Outside of 20 miles, permits would be issued for cultivation site up to 5,000 sq ft and up to 10,000 sq ft and beyond as necessary to produce enough medicine on island for all patients and patient visitors in 2018.
*Dispensaries would be allowed to purchase safe medicine from any cultivation site.
How much money should Hawaii spend on regulating Cannabis?