Lake County allows the cultivation of cannabis. The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) authorizes commercial adult-use cannabis cultivation and commercial medicinal cannabis cultivation. Ordinance No. 3073 provides for regulating the cultivation of cannabis in Lake County. The cultivation of cannabis for commercial purposes requires a Lake County minor or major use permit. A commercial cultivator must also obtain state licenses from the California Department of Cannabis Control and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Requirements for cannabis cultivation by the State Water Resources Control Board must also be met.
Under the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, cannabis use for medical purposes is legal for persons sick with debilitating medical conditions. Also, The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64) permits the cultivation and recreational use of cannabis by adults 21 years and above.
Cannabis cultivation for non-commercial personal use by an adult, a qualified patient, and a primary caregiver on a single-family parcel of land does not require a zoning permit. However, a zoning permit is required to use an accessory structure for cannabis cultivation on a parcel of land zoned for three or more families. Rules and limitations governing non-commercial cannabis cultivation include:
Yes, cannabis manufacturing is legal in Lake County, as provided by Senate Bill 94 (MAUCRSA). Lake County requires a person or business intending to engage in cannabis manufacturing in Lake County to obtain a zoning permit and a minor or major use permit from the Lake County Planning Division. Details of local requirements for cannabis manufacturing include:
Pursuant to the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), Senate Bill 94, a manufacturer must also possess a manufacturing license obtained from the California Department of Cannabis Control.
Lake County allows licensed cannabis dispensaries to operate in the county. The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) is responsible for issuing retail licenses to sell cannabis goods to licensed consumers at physical stores or via delivery. In Lake County, licensed retailers are not allowed to sell cannabis or cannabis products to persons less than 21 years. Licensed retailers must also ascertain that all cannabis products are tested for mold, harmful chemicals, pesticides, and mycotoxins. The quantity of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) on the label of cannabis products must also be confirmed as correct before selling them. It is legal for persons at least 21 years to buy cannabis from licensed retailers for recreational use. Also, persons 18 years or older who possess a physician's recommendation for medicinal use can buy cannabis from licensed retailers.
The DCC classifies cannabis products that are approved for sale into the following:
Holders of Type 11 Cannabis Distributor License are permitted to package, re-package, label, and re-label cannabis goods for retail sale.
In Lake County, licensed distributors can deliver cannabis and cannabis products. Besides moving cannabis and cannabis products between cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution sites, type 11 distributors are also licensed to deliver finished cannabis products to licensed retail sites. However, licensed distributors cannot deliver cannabis and cannabis products to residential addresses.
With a physician's recommendation in Lake County, a patient can apply for a medical marijuana ID card (MMIC). A designated primary caregiver may also apply for a medical marijuana ID card. The following steps are required in applying for an MMIC:
922 Bevins Court
Lakeport, CA 95453
Business Hours: Tuesday, 10am - 12pm, Thursday, 10am - 12pm
The Lake County Health Services Department will communicate your MMIC application fees amount to you once you contact them. Your application fees will be reduced by 50% if you are on the Medi-Cal program and waived if you receive healthcare through the County Medical Services Program. If your application is denied, you can file an appeal at no cost with the California Department of Public Health. If the information submitted is incomplete, your application will be rejected, and you may be disallowed from reapplying for six months.
The Cannabis Sales in Lake County data provided by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) shows that $1,586,239 in taxable sales was generated in 2018. In 2019, Lake County experienced a remarkable increase in revenue from cannabis as the total taxable sales was $7,329,247. Per capita sales in Lake County further increased in 2020 to $169.26, and the total taxable income generated was $10,834,636. These data show there has been a considerable improvement in the economy of Lake County as a result of increased revenue from the sale of cannabis.
Crime data from all counties in the United States are collated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Arrests data in the Lake County Sheriff's Office are submitted to the FBI. In 2018, 15 marijuana possession offenses, 22 marijuana sale/manufacturing offenses, and 25 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) cases were reported. In 2019, there were seven arrests for marijuana possession, 11 arrests related to marijuana sale/manufacturing, and 2 DUIs. In 2020, arrests further decreased to 5 marijuana possession offenses, two marijuana sale/manufacturing offenses, and 1 DUI arrest.
Data for DUI arrests submitted to the FBI by Lake County's Highway Patrol show that 311 cases were reported in 2018. DUI cases reported by the Lake County's Highway Patrol reduced to 279 in 2019 and then 205 in 2020.
These data show that legalizing medical and recreational marijuana in Lake County has significantly reduced marijuana-related arrests with a slight decline in DUI crime rates.