California Counties Stance on Recreational Cannabis

Different counties have different stances on cannabis

For some time now, California has been known as the pioneer of progress in the United States.  The liberal capital of America has made landslide legislative and constitutional moves for decades including the legalization of cannabis for recreational use in November 2016’s general election. Before California Counties Stance on Recreational Cannabisthis past election cycle, California already had a reputation as a pot-friendly state.  In 1975, cannabis possession was decriminalized, and in 1996, it became the first state to legalize cannabis for medical use.

So it may come as a surprise that while the use of cannabis among adults aged 21 and over is legal statewide, the industry is in some way banned by 53 of the state’s 58 counties.

Continue Reading Below

That’s right—only five counties have approved of the cultivation, manufacture, and retail of cannabis products

Despite what the voters and legislature have worked for, some counties and cities—particularly those in Southern California—remain frustratingly apprehensive of the adoption of cannabis regulations.

Continue Reading Below

Calaveras County, for example, has long been home to cannabis cultivation sites.  But since the legalization of cannabis for recreational use, the county’s Board of Supervisors may change that due to an influx of outsiders, growers, and environmental concerns. For this conservative, struggling community, those changes are scary.  If Calaveras goes through with a total cultivation ban, several hundred farms will be forced to shut down and the county will lose out on much-needed tax revenue.

Continue Reading Below

Los Angeles is another county arduously pushing back on cannabis regulation

It is the most populated county in the United States, setting it up to make a killing on tax revenue.  However, it has banned all cannabis business outside of incorporated cities (those that have pursued cannabis regulation despite the county’s ban), and it has played no games in enforcing those bans.

These counties are not without reason.  The regulations governing this experiment of an industry will likely need revision. The presence of legal cannabis gardens may make it easier for illegal growers to hide in plain sight. Some residents are concerned that cannabis stores would give children unnecessary exposure to the substance and increase the likelihood of underage consumption.  And of course, no matter how progressive California may be, it is home to prohibitionists—people who sincerely believe that cannabis is a dangerous substance, with little medical efficacy and a connection to the opioid epidemic.

Continue Reading Below
Continue Reading Below

California has been projected to amass billions of dollars in tax revenue for its cannabis licensing and sales.  These predictions, however, did not include the massive wave of resistance the industry is facing in the Golden State. Nineteen of the state’s counties have totally banned cannabis business within their limits, and 32 have banned one or more of the three industry areas.  Unless these counties ease up on cannabis prohibition, the state will be making much less than anticipated.  Who are the people losing out because of that?  Communities that could benefit from tax revenue and those whom it would severely inconvenience to have to travel across county lines to access a substance the voters chose to legalize.

California County Breakdown

In counties with legal cannabis, there are three primary plant-touching fields: cultivation, manufacturing, and retail. Cultivators grow the plant, manufacturers produce, prepare, and/or package cannabis products, and retailers sell cannabis products directly to customers from their storefront locations. Since the legalization of cannabis for recreational use, California counties have chosen to approve or ban the operation of one or more of these fields. This list is up to date as of October 12, 2017 per CannaBusiness Law’s reporting.

Continue Reading Below

All Approved Counties

In each of these five counties, the operation of cultivation, manufacturing, and retail businesses have been approved.

Continue Reading Below

1.     Humboldt

Continue Reading Below

2.     Monterey

3.     Santa Cruz

Continue Reading Below

4.     San Francisco

5.     Sonoma

Continue Reading Below

County Manufacturing Ban

In each of the following five counties, cultivation and retail are approved, but manufacturing has been banned.

1.     Siskiyou

Continue Reading Below

2.     Lake

3.     Marin

Continue Reading Below

4.     San Mateo

5.     Tulare

Continue Reading Below

Counties with Two Bans

Two of the plant-touching industry areas have been banned in the following 25 counties.  The one that has been approved is shown here.

1.     Alameda: retail approved

Continue Reading Below

2.     Butte: cultivation approved

3.     Del Norte: cultivation approved

Continue Reading Below

4.     El Dorado: cultivation approved

5.     Inyo: cultivation approved

Continue Reading Below

6.     Kern: retail approved

7.     Lassen County: cultivation approved

Continue Reading Below

8.     Imperial: cultivation approved

9.     Madera: cultivation approved

Continue Reading Below

10.  Mariposa: cultivation approved

11.  Merced: cultivation approved

Continue Reading Below

12.  Mono: cultivation approved

13.  Napa: cultivation approved

Continue Reading Below

14.  Nevada: cultivation approvedCalifornia Counties Stance on Recreational Cannabis

15.  Orange: cultivation approved

Continue Reading Below

16.  Sacramento: cultivation approved

17.  San Benito: cultivation approved

Continue Reading Below

18.  San Diego: cultivation approved

19.  Santa Clara: cultivation approved

Continue Reading Below

20.  Shasta: cultivation approved

21.  Sierra: cultivation approved

Continue Reading Below

22.  Solano: cultivation approved

23.  Sutter: cultivation approved

Continue Reading Below

24.  Trinity: cultivation approved

25.  Yolo: cultivation approved

Continue Reading Below

County Wide All Cannabis Ban

It’s safe to call the following counties “anti pot.” None of the cannabis industry areas are approved here, which means that residents must travel across county lines to purchase legal weed.

Continue Reading Below

1.     Alpine

Continue Reading Below

2.     Amador

3.     Colusa

Continue Reading Below

4.     Contra Costa

5.     Fresno

Continue Reading Below

6.     Glenn

7.     Kings

Continue Reading Below

8.     Los Angeles

9.     Modoc

Continue Reading Below

10.  Placer

11.  Riverside

Continue Reading Below

12.  San Bernardino

13.  San Joaquin

Continue Reading Below

14.  Santa Barbara

15.  Stanislaus

Continue Reading Below

16.  Tehama

17.  Tuolumne

Continue Reading Below

18.  Ventura

19.  Yuba

Continue Reading Below

Pending a Final Decision

In the following four counties, one of the areas is still pending approval.

1.     Mendocino: cultivation and retail approved, manufacturing pending

Continue Reading Below

2.     Plumas: cultivation pending, manufacturing, and retail banned

Continue Reading Below

3.     Calaveras: cultivation and manufacturing pending, retail approved

Continue Reading Below

4.     San Luis Obispo: retail approved, cultivation pending, manufacturing banned

Incorporated Cities

As reported by CannaBusiness Law, the following cities have moved forward with their own cannabis policies distinct from their counties’ regulations.

Continue Reading Below
Continue Reading Below

1.     Adelanto, San Bernardino County

2.     Aracata. Humboldt County

Continue Reading Below

3.     Berkeley, Alameda County

4.     Clearlake, Lake County

Continue Reading Below

5.     Davis, Yolo County

6.     Desert Hot Springs, Riverside County

Continue Reading Below

7.     Grover Beach, San Luis Obispo County

8.     Hanford, Kings County

Continue Reading Below

9.     Long Beach, Los Angeles County

Continue Reading Below

10.  Los Angeles, Los Angeles County

Continue Reading Below

California Counties Stance on Recreational Cannabis11.  Oakland, Alameda County

12.  Richmond, Contra Costa County

Continue Reading Below

13.  Sacramento, Sacramento County

14.  Salinas, Monterey County

Continue Reading Below

15.  San Diego, San Diego County

16.  San Francisco, San Francisco County

Continue Reading Below
Continue Reading Below

17.  San Jose, Santa Clara County

18.  Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County

Continue Reading Below

19.  Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County

20.  Santa Rosa, Sonoma County

California Counties Stance on Recreational Cannabis was last modified: by