Lassen County Cannabis Overview

  1. California Cannabis
  2. Lassen County Cannabis

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Lassen County?

Lassen County Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance allows the non-commercial cultivation of marijuana in the unincorporated territory of Lassen County for medical or recreational purposes by persons 21 years old or over. The marijuana plants cultivated must not exceed six live cannabis plants at one time, regardless of the number of persons occupying the residence. Marijuana cultivation for recreational and medical purposes must be done indoors by a resident of the premises where the cultivation occurs. The cultivation site must be adequately secured and enclosed such that it is not accessible to minors at any time.

In California, qualified persons can cultivate marijuana for recreational and medical purposes under the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) signed on June 27, 2017. This Act merged the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64) and created a uniform licensing regime for medical and adult-use cannabis. According to the MAUCRSA, counties in California are authorized to allow or ban local marijuana commercial activities. Hence, under this Act, Lassen County prohibits cannabis commercial activities, including marijuana cultivation within the county limits.

Lassen County does not permit outdoor cultivation of recreational marijuana. Cultivation that occurs in a greenhouse or hoop house is considered outdoor cultivation. The county only allows medical marijuana to be cultivated outdoors under the following limitations:

  • Outdoor marijuana cultivation must be fully enclosed by a fence of solid construction.
  • The outdoor cultivation of marijuana may only occur within a single bordering 250 square-foot area located on the premises. The location wherein measurements shall be taken to ascertain whether such cultivation is within 250 square feet is the interior side of any fence required for outdoor cultivation.
  • The distance by which outdoor marijuana cultivation must be set back from all exterior property lines is at least 50 feet. The setback distance shall be measured in a straight line from the property line to any fence that needs to be constructed to secure and enclose the outdoor marijuana grow area.
  • The outdoor cultivation of marijuana is not permitted in any amount or quantity upon any premises located within 1000 feet of any existing school, licensed daycare provider, school bus stop, licensed daycare provider, or public park. The distance shall be measured in a straight line from the boundary line of the site in which marijuana is cultivated to the boundary line of the premises upon which the licensed daycare provider, school, school bus stop, or public park is located.
  • The outdoor cultivation of marijuana must not occur on premises that are one acre or less in size.

Only the legal owner of the cultivation site or the legal resident where marijuana is being cultivated can engage in medicinal and recreational cannabis cultivation, indoors or outdoors (outdoor cultivation is only permitted for medicinal marijuana). If the cannabis cultivator is not the legal owner of the premises, such person will be required to possess a notarized consent form from the legal owner consenting to the cannabis cultivation. The cultivator must ensure that this notarized consent form is available at all times on the premises where the marijuana is being cultivated. A copy of the consent form must also be made available to any enforcing officer upon demand. Lassen County's Planning and Building Services Department will make forms available for such purposes.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Lassen County?

Cannabis commercial activities, including manufacturing, are illegal within the unincorporated territory of Lassen County.

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Lassen County?

Lassen County permits cannabis dispensaries in all commercial and industrial zoning districts. The county requires that a person interested in engaging in cannabis retail sales holds a use permit from Lassen County's Planning and Building Services Department. The permit will conditionally allow a dispensary and all pre-operational conditions. If an application for the use permit is approved, the department will issue the use permit applicant an "authorization to submit an application." The applicant may then apply for the type 10, storefront dispensary license to be obtained from the California Bureau of Cannabis Control. The applicant may also apply for relevant licenses from the California Department of Food and Agriculture Ca Cannabis Cultivation Licensing; and the California Department of Public Health's Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch.

To be eligible to submit a use permit application, the premises where the retail sale is proposed to take place must be a "legal parcel" pursuant to the Subdivision Map Act and Title 16 of the Lassen County Code. A legal parcel means any parcel of real property that may be separately sold in compliance with the Subdivision Map Act (Division 2 (commencing with Section 66410) of Title 7 of the Government Code. In commercial zoning districts, proposed cannabis dispensaries must not be less than 200 feet from legally-established residences, existing when an application is submitted. However, this provision excludes caretaker's units established for commercial or industrial use, except as the California Building Standards Code requires. The 200 feet distance shall be measured straight from the proposed dispensary to the established residence. In industrial zoning districts, a proposed cannabis dispensary is not required to be set back from any legally established residence, except as required by the California Building Standards Code.

In Lassen County, a dispensary shall not be located within 600 feet of any existing licensed daycare provider, school, school bus stop, or public park. The distance shall be measured in a straight line from the proposed dispensary to the existing licensed daycare provider, school, school bus stop, or public park. Dispensaries in Lassen County are prohibited from allowing anyone to consume cannabis on the premises, irrespective of the form of the cannabis, edible or otherwise, or by-products. The products that may be purchased at dispensaries in Lassen County include cannabis flowers, extracts, tinctures, pills, concentrates, edibles, prerolls, topicals, etc.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Lassen County?

Yes, cannabis delivery is legal in Lassen County. Licensed cannabis retail businesses are permitted to deliver marijuana and marijuana products to the residential addresses of their customers in Lassen County. Persons with medical marijuana ID cards can also receive delivery in Lassen County.

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Lassen County

Under the California Health Department's Medical Marijuana Program, Lassen County Public Health issues medical marijuana cards to patients sick with debilitating illnesses. Possessing a medical marijuana ID card is not mandatory, and patients and primary caregivers can still purchase cannabis without the medical marijuana ID card. However, the medical marijuana ID card exempts the holder from paying taxes on marijuana purchases. An applicant for a medical marijuana ID card must provide the following:

  • A valid proof of applicant's identity, such as a California State ID or California Drivers License, U.S. Passport, or Veteran's Administration Card
  • Current proof of residence. The applicant may provide a motor vehicle registration, or a recent utility bill rent or mortgage receipt or in the applicant's name and with a current address within the county
  • The name, contact information, and California medical license number of the applicant's physician
  • An original copy of a current/valid physician's statement certifying that the applicant has a debilitating medical condition or Written Documentation of Patient's Medical Records (CDPH-9044)
  • A completed Medical Marijuana ID Card Application
  • A non-refundable application fee not exceeding $100

Before visiting the Lassen County Public Health Department, call (530) 251-8183 to book an appointment; after which you may submit your completed application form and other required documentation in person to:

Lassen County Public Health

1445 Paul Bunyan Road

Susanville, CA 96130

Business Hours are on Tuesdays, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Lassen County?

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) publishes a quarterly report on Cannabis Sales by County. This report shows the economic impact of cannabis on counties that have legalized commercial cannabis activities across the state. However, the CDTFA did not record any data detailing the taxable sales made in Lassen County. There is also no official information containing any data through which the financial impact of medical and recreational cannabis legalization can be measured.

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

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) publishes yearly data on the crime report submitted by law enforcement agencies across the state, including the Lassen County Sheriff's Office. The crime report details that in 2016, the year before legalization, Lassen County Sheriff's Office made one arrest for marijuana possession and marijuana sales and manufacturing each. In 2017, marijuana-related arrests increased slightly as three marijuana possession arrests were recorded, but there were no marijuana sales arrests. In 2018, no marijuana possession arrests were made, while marijuana sale and manufacturing arrests were four. Only data for marijuana possession arrests were recorded in 2019 (seven arrests). There was no record of any marijuana sale/manufacturing arrests. The year 2020 was similar to 2019 as only marijuana possession arrests were recorded, but there were three arrests in 2020. No arrests were recorded for marijuana sales and arrests for marijuana possession. The FBI shows that marijuana-related crimes slightly increased after the legalization of marijuana in 2017, although the crimes reduced in 2020.

Cannabis legalization also had a notable impact on the DUI arrests rates in Lassen County. California Highway Patrol - Susanville crime report submitted to the FBI recorded 101 DUI arrests in 2016. The number of DUIs dropped in 2017 to 81 and increased significantly to 123 in 2018. DUIs further increased to 137 in 2019 and 141 in 2020. From the Highway Patrol's report, DUIs have continued to increase in Lassen County since after marijuana legalization compared to the years before marijuana legalization.

Lassen County Cannabis Overview