Colusa County Cannabis Overview

  1. California Cannabis
  2. Colusa County Cannabis

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Colusa County?

Cannabis cultivation is legal in Colusa County, and so it is in the home state. California legalized medical marijuana in 1996 after the state's voters approved Proposition 215, codified into the state law as the Compassionate Use Act. California voters equally passed Proposition 64, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, in 2016 to legalize cannabis for recreational use. Both Acts permit cannabis cultivation by eligible persons.

Under Proposition 215, qualified patients and primary caregivers can possess and use medical cannabis. However, licensed physicians, surgeons, or osteopaths must recommend cannabis for managing some debilitating ailments. Proposition 215 allows patients with medical cannabis authorizations to cultivate up to 6 mature or 12 immature marijuana plants at home for personal medical use. The Adult Use Marijuana Act permits adults 21 years and older to possess and use cannabis for recreational purposes. It also allows them to cultivate up to 6 cannabis plants for personal use. However, to reconcile the state's cannabis laws, the California Legislature passed the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) in 2017. The MAUSCRA established the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) to regulate cannabis business operations in California. It equally empowers local authorities to decide whether to allow cannabis business or not in their jurisdictions.

Chapter 11 of the Colusa County Code permits limited commercial and personal cultivation of cannabis. To engage in cannabis cultivation for personal use in Colusa County, a person must be a permanent resident in a residence used for cultivation. Such a person must be at least 21 years of age. Regardless of the number of adults occupying a household, the maximum they cultivate is six cannabis plants. Personal-use cannabis cultivation can only occur in a secured accessory building not inhabited by anyone but on the same land as the grower's residence. However, the cultivator must have a legal permit issued by the Colusa County Planning and Building Department for the accessory building. The accessory building must be locked at all times to prevent access by unauthorized persons or individuals under 21 years. The cannabis plants in the building must not be visible to the public in any way.

California-licensed commercial cannabis growers holding certain cultivation license classifications under Section 26050(a) of the California Business and Professions Code can cultivate cannabis in Colusa County. The license classifications include Type 1A (specialty indoor-small), Type 2A (indoor-small), Type 3A (indoor-medium), Type 4(nursery), and Type 5A (indoor-large) cultivation licenses. Persons holding these licenses can only operate in an M-2 heavy industrial zoning district and have a wastewater permit approved by the Regional Water Quality Control Board. Commercial cannabis cultivation sites in Colusa County must be at least 600 feet away from an existing residence, school, church, or park. Cultivators must comply with all local and state laws.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Colusa County?

Yes. According to Chapter 11 of the Colusa County Code, cannabis manufacturing is one of the commercial cannabis business operations allowed in the county. California-licensed commercial cannabis operations holding Type 6 (Manufacturer 1) and Type 7 (Manufacturer 2) under Section 26050(a) of the California Business and Profession Code can manufacture cannabis products. These license classification holders must also obtain a county commercial cannabis license from the county community development director. However, they cannot operate outside an M-2 heavy industrial zoning district and must have a wastewater permit approved by the Regional Quality Water Control Board.

To set up a cannabis manufacturing facility in Colusa County, a prospective manufacturer must submit their site, odor management, safety, waste management, and security plans to the community development department. Cannabis manufacturing establishments are not permitted to be within 600 feet of any existing residence, church, or school. They must comply with all Colusa County Code requirements, including relevant zoning provisions. They are also required to abide by applicable state laws and regulations.

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Colusa County?

No. Chapter 11 of the Colusa County Code prohibits the establishment of cannabis dispensaries or storefronts and sales of cannabis or cannabis products in any amount. According to Ordinance 785, which amended Chapter 11 of the Colusa County Code, sales of cannabis or establishment of cannabis dispensaries in the county is a public nuisance.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Colusa County?

Like cannabis retail, cannabis delivery is illegal and prohibited in Colusa County. Chapter 11 of the Colusa County Code forbids cannabis dispensaries or storefront facilities from delivering cannabis or cannabis products to anyone within the county borders. This prohibition equally applies to cannabis delivery through mobile delivery services or other possible means. Per Ordinance 785, engaging in cannabis delivery activities in Colusa County is a public nuisance.

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Colusa County

The California Department of Health Services started the Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program (MMICP) in 2004 for medical patients with severe medical conditions. The MMICP was created to enable qualified patients and caregivers to register through a statewide identification system in their county of residence.

The Colusa County Department of Public Health is responsible for registering eligible patients and caregivers for medical marijuana cards in the county. An applicant must provide the following documents and information to get a medical marijuana card:

  • A valid government-issued photo identification. The County Department of Health accepts IDs such as the U.S. Passport, a California ID, and driver's license issued by the DMV.
  • Proof of residence in Colusa County. Common ones include a current and valid driver's license obtained from the DMV, a recent utility bill, mortgage or rent receipts bearing the applicant's address within the county, and motor vehicle registration issued by the DMV.
  • Written documentation issued by a state-licensed physician indicating the applicant was diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition and recommending medical cannabis. A physician can complete the Written Documentation of Patient's Medical Records Form (CDPH 9044) for this purpose. The qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana include seizures, cancer, AIDS, migraine, glaucoma, arthritis, anorexia, cachexia, and muscle spasms.
  • The physician's name, California medical license number, and fax number

Applications for medical marijuana cards at the Colusa County Department of Public Health are by appointment only. Applicants can confirm their appointment for either Monday or Wednesday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., by contacting the Department at (530) 458-0380. If a minor, the applicant will present proof of emancipation. A legal guardian or parent must attend the appointment with a dependent minor. The applicant must appear in person on the appointed date with all supporting documentation and a completed Medical Marijuana Program Application/Renewal Form (CDPH 9042) and submit them at:

Colusa County Department of Health

Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program (MMICP)

251 E. Webster Street

Colusa, CA 95932

After submission, the Department will verify the physician's recommendation presented by the applicant with the physician's office. Also, it will confirm the authenticity of the physician's license with the Medical Board of California or the Osteopathic Board of California. An applicant must pay a non-refundable application fee of $100 or $50 for a MediCal beneficiary (a current MediCal beneficiary must provide their MediCal card). It may take up to 35 days to process a medical marijuana card in Colusa County. Once available, the Department will contact the card owner to pick up their card.

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Colusa County?

Currently, Colusa County does not have any known published data on cannabis sales or cannabis tax revenues to ascertain the extent of the impact of cannabis legalization on its economy. The total cannabis taxable sales by county between 2018 and 2021 published by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) also does not contain reports from Colusa County. However, a review of the CDTFA report for all counties shows that cannabis has positively impacted their economies, considering the increasing cannabis taxable sales between 2018 and 2021. Hence, concluding that cannabis legalization has positively impacted Colusa County's economy will be in order.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Colusa County

The rate of arrests for drug-related offenses in Colusa County has been relatively low over the years. According to a report collated and published by the California Department of Justice (DOJ), 49 drug-related arrests were made in Colusa County in 2013. This figure increased slightly to 66 in 2014 and declined significantly to 18 in 2015. The DOJ reported 22 and 15 arrests for drug offenses in the county in 2016 and 2017, respectively. In 2018, the number of drug-related arrests went down to 5, and in 2019 and 2020, arrest figures were 11 and 10, respectively. With these data, it is clear that cannabis legalization does not have notable impacts on drug-related crime rates in Colusa County.

In a report gathered by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in 2018, law enforcement made 181 and 182 DUI arrests in Colusa County in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The DMV's 2020 report showed 174 DUI arrests in the county, while the figure declined slightly to 136 in 2017. In 2018, 148 DUI arrests were made in Colusa County. Cannabis legalization has not significantly affected DUI crime rates in Colusa County.

Colusa County Cannabis Overview