Butte County prohibits the cultivation of marijuana on any parcel that does not satisfy the definition of a premises as contained in Section 34A of the county cannabis code. Such cultivation will be considered a public nuisance and must be abated in accordance with Section 34A-13 of the Butte County medical cannabis code and Section 34C-13 of the county adult-use cannabis code. The cultivation of marijuana plants on any property in excess of the following square footage limits is deemed to be illegal:
Per Section 34A-6 of the Butte County Code, personal cultivation of cannabis for medical marijuana must meet the following requirements:
Other Butte County regulations for environmental requirements, setback requirements, fencing restrictions, and abatement procedures for cannabis cultivation are contained inSection 34A and Section 34C of the Butte County Code.
Cannabis manufacturing is a prohibited activity in Butte County in accordance with Section 34A and Section 34C of the county code. The Butte County adult-use cannabis code and medical cannabis codes prohibit cannabis manufacturing for non-medical and medical purposes. In contrast to the county code and as permitted under Proposition 64, Chico City, through the City of Chico Cannabis Ordinance, permits cannabis manufacturers to operate in the city.
Cannabis retail or Marijuana dispensaries are prohibited within the borders of the unincorporated parts of Butte County in accordance with Section 24-166 of the Butte County Code. However, Proposition 64, which legalized adult-use cannabis in California, permits local jurisdictions to enact their own rules concerning cannabis activities within their borders. For instance, Chico City permits retail storefronts to operate within its borders provided such businesses obtain conditional-use permits. In Chico City, the retailer-storefront cannabis business type is only permitted in the Community Commercial (CC), Regional Commercial (CR), Commercial Services (CS), and TND-CORE zoning districts.
Butte County prohibits cannabis delivery activities within the jurisdictions of its unincorporated parts in compliance with Section 34C-4 of the county adult-use cannabis code and Section 34A-4 of the county medical cannabis code. Pursuant to the provisions of Proposition 64, cities may permit cannabis delivery in their jurisdictions in accordance with their ordinances. In line with that provision, Chico City permits cannabis retail delivery in its jurisdiction. Consumers may have marijuana products delivered to their residential addresses in Chico City.
The Butte County medical marijuana identification card (MMIC) is available under the state Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC) program, which is administered by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The MMIC identifies the cardholder as a person who is protected by Proposition 215 and Senate Bill 420. It is used to assist law enforcement in determining if the cardholder is legally permitted to possess specific amounts of medicinal marijuana under certain conditions.
Any Butte County resident whose physician advises marijuana use for one or more of the qualifying medical conditions can apply for an MMIC. The patient may designate a primary caregiver and obtain a caregiver identity card for such an individual from the Butte County Public Health Vital Records Office. Note that you must schedule an appointment to obtain an MMIC from the county department of health. You may contact the Butte County Public Health Vital Records Office at (530) 552-3996 to schedule an appointment. The Office address is:
Department of Public Health
202 Mira Loma Drive
Oroville, CA 95965
The following are required at the appointment with the Vital Records Office:
The Vital Records Office will take a digital photograph of the patient and the primary caregiver, if any, during the appointment.
The Medical Board of California will verify the physician's licensure, and the patient's medical marijuana use recommendation will also be checked with the physician. Following verification of the medical marijuana use recommendation, a Butte County public health official will request the MMIC from the state Department of Public Health. When the Medical Marijuana Identification Card is ready for pick up, a public health department staff will contact the patient.
A patient's application will be denied if the physician does not verify the medical marijuana use recommendation within 30 days. In such situations, the public health department will notify the patients that the public health department has declined their applications. The patient may file an appeal with the California Department of Public Health within 30 days of the denial of the initial application.
Butte County's restriction of cannabis activities within its borders has meant that cannabis legalization has only had minimal impact on the economy of the county when compared with several other counties in California. Data for per capita sales and total taxable sales for all counties in California is available on the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) website. However, for Butte County, only revenue data for the second and third quarters in 2018 is provided on the CDTFA website.
In the second quarter of 2018, Butte County generated $0.34 in per capita sales and $77,361 in total taxable sales, while the county generated $0.38 in per capita sales and $87,090 in total taxable sales in the third quarter of that year.
In 2018, when California approved the sale of recreational cannabis, Butte County recorded 16 DUI arrests, 29 arrests for marijuana possession, and 17 arrests for marijuana sales. In 2019, the county recorded 9 DUI arrests, 55 arrests for marijuana possession, and 30 arrests for marijuana sales. Butte County recorded 2 arrests for DUI in 2020. In that year, the arrest record for marijuana possession and marijuana sales were 51 and 16, respectively.
In the years immediately preceding recreational marijuana sales, the county recorded 78 DUI arrests in 2015, 91 DUI arrests in 2016, and 84 DUI arrests in 2017. Marijuana possession arrests figures were 42, 39, and 33 in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Arrest figures for drug sales were 37, 32, and 17 in 2015, 2016, and 2017.