Lake County Cannabis Overview

  1. California Cannabis
  2. Lake County Cannabis

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Lake County?

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:

  • The sites of cultivation on plots of land five acres or less located within a community growth boundary should be in:
  • A detached accessory building
  • A grow room within the primary structure
  • A greenhouse with mixed-light
  • The sites of cultivation on plots of land more than five acres that are not within a community growth boundary should be in:
  • A grow room within the primary structure
  • A greenhouse with mixed-light
  • An outdoor fenced area
  • The cultivation area for personal adult use in an accessory building, an enclosed grow room, or an outdoor space should not exceed 100 square feet.
  • Qualified patients and primary caregivers can use more than one accessory building, enclosed grow room or 100 square feet outdoor area for cultivation. Qualified patients must, however, not exceed six people per cultivation area.
  • Hoop-houses are not allowed.
  • For a cultivation site that is both within and outside a community growth boundary, outdoor cultivation is only permitted on the part outside a community growth boundary greater than five acres.
  • Outdoor cultivation sites outside greenhouses are not allowed within 1,000 feet of:
  • Public and private schools, from grades K to 12
  • Public parks with playground equipment
  • Drugs or alcohol rehabilitation establishments
  • Any establishment providing services essentially for minors
  • Qualified patients and primary caregivers cannot plant, cultivate, harvest, dry, or process at any one time greater than six mature or twelve immature cannabis plants per patient.
  • Adults cannot plant, cultivate, harvest, dry, or process at any one time more than six mature cannabis plants per residence.
  • Outdoor cultivation on plots of land five acres or more that are not within a community growth boundary should be setback minimum of 75 feet from other properties and a minimum of 150 feet from any off-site residence.
  • Juveniles should not have access to cultivation sites. Entrances to cannabis cultivation sites should be locked.
  • A maximum of 1,200 watts is permitted for lighting indoor and mixed-light cannabis cultivation sites.
  • Complementary lighting is not allowed for outdoor cultivation sites, except mixed-light in greenhouses.
  • The transmission of light at night beyond the greenhouse should be prevented in a greenhouse with mixed-light,

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Lake County?

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:

  • Construction of an accessory residence which will be an accessory use to the principal commercial building
  • Facilities for licensed cannabis processing should be set back a minimum of 75 feet from other properties and 150 feet from any off-site residence.
  • Facilities for licensed cannabis processing can be used for:
  • Processing of cannabis
  • Packaging and labeling cannabis products
  • Cannabis waste composting
  • Management of cannabis waste
  • Storing of harvested cannabis
  • Other uses pertaining to cannabis processing, packaging, labeling, composting, or storage
  • Adherence to processor development standards which include:
  • The piece of land for processor activities shall face and have direct access to a concreted State or Lake County road.
  • All processor activities shall be carried out inside an enclosed building.
  • Non-manufactured cannabis products can be produced on a processor site without a cannabis manufacturing license as long as the packaging and labeling requirements of the California Code of Regulations are met.
  • Cultivation of cannabis plants on a processor site is not permitted.
  • Filtration systems have to be in place at the processor site.
  • Implementation of additional security precautions
  • The entire processor site shall have a perimeter fence.
  • The fence shall be at least 6 feet and at most 8 feet high.
  • Barbed wire or razor wire shall not be used.
  • Aside from when a vehicle is entering or exiting, the vehicle access gate shall remain shut and locked.
  • If a pedestrian gate is provided, it must be secured to avert unauthorized passage.
  • Processing, packaging, cannabis composting, cannabis waste and harvested cannabis storage, and other accessory use areas should be designated.

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.

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Lake County?

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:

  • Non-manufactured cannabis products, which consist of only cannabis, plants, or plant material, such as packaged flowers, pre-rolls, packaged seeds, or immature plants.
  • Manufactured cannabis products which contain cannabis extracts or non-cannabis ingredients, including:
  • Edible cannabis products such as baked goods, mints, drinks, drink additives, candies, and sweets.
  • Cannabis concentrates like vape cartridges, tinctures, dab, shatter, wax, tablets, and pills made with cannabis extracts.
  • used to make Topical cannabis products like balms, patches, lotions, and creams

Holders of Type 11 Cannabis Distributor License are permitted to package, re-package, label, and re-label cannabis goods for retail sale.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Lake County?

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.

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Lake County

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:

  • Complete the Medical Marijuana Program Application/Renewal Form. Other required documents include:
  • A valid government-issued identification card
  • Proof of residence in Lake County showing your name and current address
  • Written recommendation from your physician for the use of medical marijuana
  • Secure an appointment with and submit your application form physically to:

Lake County Health Services Department

922 Bevins Court

Lakeport, CA 95453

(707) 263-1090

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.

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Lake County?

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.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Lake County?

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.

Lake County Cannabis Overview