Yes, cannabis cultivation is legal in Calaveras County. The county is situated in California, where both medical and recreational cannabis are legal. California voters legalized medical cannabis in 1996 through Proposition 215, also called the Compassionate Use Act. Under this Act, minors, and adults 18 years and older diagnosed with specific medical conditions can use medical marijuana legally. Recreational marijuana was legalized in California for adults 21 years and older through the 2016 Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64). The state's general cannabis law, Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), allows counties and cities to regulate commercial cannabis operations within their jurisdictions. The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) is California's regulatory body for all cannabis operations.
Section 17.95 of the Calaveras County Code of Ordinances permits business entities and individuals to cultivate commercial cannabis in Calaveras County. However, interested persons must obtain cannabis cultivation licenses from the Division of Cannabis Control. The Calaveras County Code permits outdoor cultivation of cannabis on 20 acres of land or more within A1, AP, GF, U, and RA zoning districts. It also allows the Division to issue conditional permits for the cultivation of cannabis on parcels of land between 10 to 20 acres within A1, AP, GF, U, and RA zoning districts. In addition, Calaveras County Code allows indoor cultivation of commercial cannabis in M1, M2, and M4 industrial zoning districts.
Chapter 17.95.050(C) of the Calaveras County Code of Ordinances allows adults 21 years and older to cultivate recreational and medical cannabis for personal use. Eligible persons can grow a maximum of six marijuana plants on private residences both indoors and outdoors. The outdoor cultivation area must be at least 75 feet away from other properties not owned by the grower. Persons growing personal-use cannabis indoors must comply with the California Building Standards Code and the lighting requirements in Chapter 17.95.090(M) of the Calaveras County Code. They must also comply with local fire district ordinances and other state laws applicable to their operations. However, the Calaveras County Code of Ordinance prohibits the cultivation of marijuana on residential development areas, mobile home parks, and multi-family dwelling properties. All cultivation areas must be away from public view and secured to prevent access to minors and unauthorized persons.
No, cannabis manufacturing is illegal in Calaveras County. Calaveras County Code of Ordinances considers all marijuana manufacturing operations a public nuisance. Therefore, Section 17.95(B) of the County Code forbids individuals and business entities from manufacturing cannabis within any zoning district in the county.
Yes, cannabis retail is legal in Calaveras County. Section 17.91.050 of the Calaveras County Code of Ordinances requires cannabis retailers to obtain cannabis retailer administrative use permits (AUPs) from the Calaveras County Planning Department. Cannabis retail operations are only permitted in CP professional zoning districts of Calaveras County. Also, marijuana dispensaries must be at least 600 feet from the property line or 1,000 feet from the premises (whichever is greater) of the following places:
Kindergarten and elementary schools
Persons licensed to operate other cannabis businesses in Calaveras County must also get AUP licenses before selling cannabis products legally. Marijuana products available at cannabis dispensaries in the county include topicals, edibles, and concentrates. Only adults 21 years or older can buy recreational marijuana legally. Also, registered medical marijuana patients (with medical marijuana cards) who are at least 18 years and their caregivers can purchase medical cannabis legally in Calaveras County.
The Calaveras County Code of Ordinances permits cannabis dispensaries in the county to deliver marijuana legally. However, Section 17.91.050(E) of the Calaveras County Code of Ordinances prohibits non-storefront retail marijuana operations. Therefore, cannabis retailers cannot operate delivery-only dispensaries in Calaveras County.
Yes, cannabis delivery is legal in Calaveras County. The Calaveras County Code of Ordinances provisions permits licensed cannabis retailers to deliver marijuana to individuals at home. Only adults 21 years or older can have recreational marijuana delivered to them, while medical marijuana delivery is restricted to patients 18 years or older with medical marijuana cards.
In Calaveras County, a medical marijuana card identifies a cardholder as eligible to use medical marijuana legally. Patients diagnosed with severe medical conditions like migraine, chronic pain, glaucoma, AIDS, cancer, persistent muscle spasms, and seizures can obtain medical marijuana cards in Calaveras County. Eligible persons can apply for and get the card under the California Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program (MMIC).
A medical marijuana card applicant in Calaveras County must provide the following:
A recommendation by a licensed physician verifying that the applicant has been diagnosed with a severe medical condition that requires medical marijuana management
Government-issued identification, such as a California ID card or driver's license
Proof of residence in Calaveras County, like a current mortgage or rent receipt, utility bill, or valid government-issued photo identification bearing the applicant's address within the county.
Application for a medical marijuana card in Calaveras County must be made in person. Applicants must first schedule an appointment with the county's Public Health Department by calling 1 (209) 754-6460 during regular business hours. The applicant's photograph to be used on their medical marijuana card must be taken physically at the Department. They must complete a Medical Marijuana Program Application/Renewal Form and submit it with other required documents at:
Department of Public Health
700 Mountain Ranch Road, Suite C
San Andreas, CA 95249
Cannabis legalization has had a positive impact on the Calaveras County economy. The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) published a report on the total cannabis taxable sales for counties in the state between 2018 and 2021. The report reveals that Calaveras County recorded over $2.4 million in total taxable sales in 2018. By the end of 2019, the county had made over $2 million of taxable cannabis sales. This figure jumped to $5.8 million worth of taxable marijuana sales in 2020. Between the first and third quarters of 2021, Calaveras County made over $9.2 million in taxable cannabis sales, indicating that the end of 2021 will be better than 2020.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) crime data revealed that the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office made 24 marijuana possession arrests and 31 cannabis-related manufacturing and sales arrests in 2017. In 2018, when cannabis sales began in California, marijuana possession arrests rose to 35 while sales and manufacturing arrests dropped to 6. The report showed that by 2019, cannabis possession arrests decreased to 16, while manufacturing and sales arrests rose to 28. Cannabis possession arrests recorded by the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office further reduced in 2020 to 10, while sales and manufacturing arrests reduced to 24.
In addition, FBI reports showed that Calaveras County Sheriff's Office recorded five DUI (Driving Under Influence) arrests in 2017 and four DUI arrests in 2018. There were no DUI arrests recorded in 2019. However, by 2020, the Sheriff's Office recorded 4 DUI arrests. From these data, the effect of cannabis legalization on marijuana-related possession arrests in Calaveras County became evident in 2019, when arrest figures began to decrease. However, cannabis sales and manufacturing arrest figures in the county were unstable even after cannabis legalization. DUI arrest figures in Calaveras County did not appear to be significantly affected by cannabis legalization.