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Mendocino County Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance Amendments Approved

Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance Amended

On October 1, 2019, important amendments to the Mendocino County Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance (Ordinance-4438) were approved by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. Among a few minor edits and changes meant to clean-up text, Mendocino County has approved a process and procedure to transfer issued permits to another individual. Prior to this approval, cannabis cultivators were prohibited from selling their business and transferring the permit to any other person. By removing the ban on transfer, Mendocino County has opened the doors to new possibilities and opportunities for cannabis cultivators. The change brings the County to the same level as various other localities that already allow for some sort of transfer. The ability to transfer the permit and sell the cannabis business increases the overall value of the permit and business which is what many cannabis cultivators have been working for. Please see below for the requirements to transfer and additional changes to the Cannabis Ordinance.

Section 10A.17.070 (K) provides that a permittee may assign a permit to another person if they submit:

(1) Pay the application Fee;

(2) A complete application as provided by the department and any additional documents as required including but not limited to Live Scan;

(3) A copy of the existing permit;

(4) Either (a) exiting permitee’s request to assign all rights and responsibilities of the permit to the assignee; or (b) in the event of death or incapacitation of the exiting permittee, evidence of such death or incapacitation;

(5) Evidence that assignee’s legal interest in the real property involved allows for the assignee to use the permit; and

(6) An affidavit executed by the assignee attesting to the assignee’s agreement to comply with all the terms and conditions of the permit and all applicable laws and regulations.

Once the above documentation is submitted, the transfer/assignment will become effective upon the department’s written approval and the assigned permit will be granted subject to the terms and conditions of the original permit. The transfer process will become available to permitees once an application fee has been set by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, which has said to be discussed and decided on sometime in November.

Additional important changes to the Cannabis Cultivation Ordinances are:

  • The opening date for Phase Three has been pushed to July 1, 2020.
  • Phase two has expanded to include mixed light permits as long as the activities will occur in a greenhouse equipped with filtered ventilation systems.
  • Deleted Section 10a.17.040 (A) (4) which prohibited cannabis to be “in any location where the cannabis plants are visible from a public right away or publicly traveled private roads.”
  • Section 10A.17.070(F) – The amount of time given to which a permitee must adjust reliance on a generator as a power source has been extended to 4 years from the date of the initial application. Furthermore, it is now a condition of renewal of a permit at the end of the 4-year period that the cultivator commit in writing to expand their alternative power source to fully meet the combined needs of the cultivation operations and any required legal dwelling with 2 years.
  • Section 10A.17.080 (B)(2)(b)(ii) -The sunset provision for Residential Districts has been extended for specific sites. Indoor cultivation types C-A, 1A or 2A within 2 miles of the Coastal Zone Boundary which had a permit issued or application submitted and under review by May 14, 2019, may be issued and/or renew a permit until June 30, 2022, subject to the modification of the existing administrative or use permit for indoor cultivation site.

Mendocino County has been working hard to work with cannabis cultivators to help support their businesses rather than inhibit their growth. Its important to keep up to date and make your voice heard so that changes, such as the ability to transfer the permit, will be considered and hopefully implemented. Contact us for any further Mendocino County, Lake County, or Sonoma County cannabis business questions.