In the past, it was a favored because of its rugged geography and low population density. Ironically, for a completely different set of reasons, it might still be the safest location for legal marijuana cultivation. If water ends up being the most important consideration for a good location, Northern California, including Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties, could end up the clear winner.
Allen suggests that a smart cannabis farmer could easily set up a rain catchment system that takes advantage of the ample winter rains by storing it for use during dry summer months when rainfall is historically low.
Soils are rated in terms of their agricultural limitations. Class I soils have the fewest limitations; Class VIII is considered not appropriate for agriculture.
The Right Hire
Based on sales figures in Washington and Colorado, simple math indicates that the legal, recreational marijuana market in California will rapidly reach between $5 billion and $7 billion per year.
Without a doubt, selecting the right location for a new cannabis farm is going to have more impact on success or failure than any other single decision in the process. In drought-prone, federally-irrigated California, water may be the single-most important consideration of all.
Selecting a site
Although California may be a bit smaller geographically than Texas, it dwarfs every other U.S. state by almost every other measure.
Wine country making way for weed county: One of the many vineyards in Northern California that is now sharing its hillside with marijuana producers. Photo by Joshua Hoffman.
Federal decriminalization is a priority of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. (“Schumer: Senate will act on marijuana legalization with or without Biden,” April 3, 2021, by Natalie Fertig, Politico.com.) The House of Representatives in April passed the “Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2021,” which, if it passes the Senate, will protect banks from liability for handling money from the marijuana trade. (“Cannabis Banking: The Safe Banking Act 2.0 Passes the House of Representatives,” April 20, 2021, National Law Review.)
You can legally purchase cannabis products from licensed dispensaries in the city of Sacramento. Cities and counties decide whether to license businesses in their area, so other cities may not have storefront dispensaries.
Landlords can prohibit smoking and cultivation in rented residences. If you live in federally subsidized housing it is grounds for eviction for illegal activity, since it’s still illegal under Federal law. For lots more on landlord-tenant issues, see Cannifornian’s “Ask An Attorney: Can my landlord forbidden me from growing marijuana at home?”
City of Sacramento No more than 6 marijuana plants, regardless of number of occupants; must be in a single, locked room or structure (Sacramento City Code § 8.132.040) Sacramento County No more than 6 marijuana plants, regardless of number of occupants; must be in a single, locked room or structure (Sacramento County Code § 6.88.050) Citrus Heights Medicinal: limited to 50 square feet and 300 cubic feet inside a residence, 100 square feet and 600 cubic feet in a secure structure on residential property (Citrus Heights Code of Ordinances § 50-702) Recreational: up to 6 marijuana plants (Citrus Heights Code of Ordinances § 50-802) Elk Grove No more than 6 marijuana plants (Elk Grove Municipal Code § 23.83) Folsom No more than 6 marijuana plants, limited to 50 square feet and 10 feet in height (Folsom Municipal Code § 17.114.040) Permit required (Folsom Municipal Code § 17.114.050) Galt No more than 6 marijuana plants (Galt Municipal Code § 18.58.030) Rancho Cordova No more than 6 marijuana plants; city imposes registration requirement and tax (Rancho Cordova Municipal Code §§ 6.90.030, 3.85)
Most Sacramento-area cities, as well as the county, prohibit dispensaries and all commercial marijuana activity.
Buying, using, and distributing medicinal marijuana has been legal in California since 1996 (see our article “Medicinal Marijuana Laws” for more). In 2016, California passed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) legalizing the use and cultivation of marijuana for adults over 21.
All cities in Sacramento County, as well as unincorporated areas, ban outdoor growing of marijuana. Growing indoors for personal use is restricted to personal residences, with different limits and regulations in different areas. Here’s a quick summary of the quantities permitted in different cities as of May 2021:
Personal use and cultivation
Now that recreational marijuana is legal in California, what are the rules for growing and using it? The answers are changing, and they depend on where you live or partake.
What does this mean for individuals who want to enjoy their new recreational options? Right now it is legal for adults (over 21) to: