Mariposa County Cannabis Overview

  1. California Cannabis
  2. Mariposa County Cannabis

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Mariposa County?

Commercial cultivation of cannabis of any kind indoors is illegal in Mariposa County, as established by the Mariposa County Cannabis Code. However, indoor cannabis cultivation for personal use is permitted on structures that meet all building codes and zoning code requirements.

Mariposa County does not permit outdoor commercial cultivation of any kind (medicinal or recreational). However, cultivation per personal use is permitted provided certain specified conditions are fulfilled. The cultivation area must have a fully enclosed opaque fence not less than 6 feet in height. Fencing materials such as landscaping, plastic sheeting, and cloth material are not considered to constitute adequate fences for outdoor cannabis cultivation sites.

In Mariposa County, an outdoor cannabis cultivation site must be located at least 1,000 feet from any school, school evacuation site, church park, daycare, or youth center. The site is also required to be setback 50 feet from property lines. Per Mariposa County Cannabis Code, any outdoor cannabis cultivation site fence built over 7 feet in height requires a Building Permit.

Mariposa County Cannabis Code requires that persons engaging in either indoor or outdoor cannabis cultivation must have notarized letters from property owners authorizing cultivation if the cultivators or residents are not the property owners. For medicinal marijuana cultivation, the primary caregiver or qualified patient cultivating the marijuana must permanently live on the cultivation property.

Marijuana County prohibits cannabis cultivation on underdeveloped land or parcels. A legal residential dwelling must exist on the parcel and be the full-time residence of the cultivator. Recreational vehicles, garages, and unpermitted structures will not be considered residential dwellings in Mariposa County.

According to Section 8.56.050 of the Mariposa County Code, a maximum of 12 marijuana plants are permitted either indoors or outdoors per parcel on parcels on which there is one qualified patient or primary caregiver living on the parcel. If two or more qualified patients or primary caregivers reside on the parcel, a maximum of 24 plants, either indoors or outdoors, is permitted per parcel.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Mariposa County?

According to Section 17.108.200 of the Mariposa County Cannabis Code, Mariposa County prohibits the manufacture of medicinal and recreational cannabis in all zoning districts and all the unincorporated territories of the county. All commercial cannabis activities, including manufacturing, are prohibited and considered a public nuisance.

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Mariposa County?

Mariposa County bans retail commercial cannabis activities in all zoning districts and all of the county's unincorporated territory. Individuals looking to purchase cannabis may buy from commercial retail dispensaries outside the county. Cannabis dispensaries are not allowed in Mariposa County. However, Proposition 64, which legalized adult-use cannabis in California, permits local jurisdictions to enact their own rules concerning cannabis activities within their borders. Hence, some cities in Mariposa County may promulgate rules which permit cannabis retail shops to operate within their borders.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Mariposa County?

No. Mariposa County prohibits cannabis delivery by cannabis delivery establishments within its jurisdiction per Section 17.108.200 of the county cannabis code. Section 17.108.200 stipulates that any cannabis activity that requires a license pursuant to Division 10 of the California Business and Professions Code, as amended, including those that require a license pursuant to the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), including wholesale or retail sale, or cannabis delivery is prohibited in all zoning districts.

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Mariposa County

The Mariposa County medical marijuana identification card (MMIC) is available under the state Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC) program, which is administered by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). In Mariposa County, the MMIC program is administered by the Mariposa County Health Department. The MMIC identifies the person named on the card as an individual protected by Proposition 215 and Senate Bill 420. It is used to assist law enforcement in determining if the cardholder is legally permitted to possess specific amounts of medicinal marijuana under certain conditions.

Any Mariposa County resident whose physician recommends marijuana use for one or more qualifying medical conditions may apply for an MMIC. The patient may designate a primary caregiver and obtain a caregiver identity card for such an individual from the Mariposa County Health Department. Note that you must schedule an appointment to obtain an MMIC from the county health department. You may contact the Mariposa County Health Department at (209) 966-3689 to schedule an appointment. The Office address is:

Mariposa County Health Department

5085 Bullion Street

Mariposa, CA 95338

The following are required at the appointment with the Vital Records Office:

  • A written recommendation from your physician. The recommendation must be current and original. As a convenience, the state Department of Health makes the CDPH-9044 form available for physicians. If the physician opts to use another format, the document must contain the same information provided on the CDPH-9044 form. This written recommendation will be returned to the applicant at the end of the appointment.
  • A completed CDPH-9042 form
  • A government-issued photo ID, such as a military ID, driver's license, and passport.
  • Proof of Mariposa County residency, such as water or electric bill, DMV car registration, and housing rental paperwork
  • Medi-Cal or CMSP (County Medical Services Program) card, if applicable.
  • Application fee. Contact the Mariposa County Health Department for the current application fee. The maximum fee a California resident may be charged for an MMIC is $100. Medi-Cal beneficiaries and their caregivers at the time of application are eligible for a 50% reduction in the application fee. Application fees are nonrefundable. Application fees are also usually waived for applicants with active CMSP cards at the time of application. Cash or money orders are the accepted forms of payment for the MMIC application fee.

Note that a digital photograph of the applicant and the primary caregiver (if applicable) will be taken at the scheduled appointment. After submitting the MMIC application, the County Public Health Department will verify the physician's license with the State Medical Board or Osteopathic Medical Board. In addition, the physician's recommendation will be reviewed.

If the physician's recommendation for medicinal marijuana use cannot be validated within 30 days, the patient's application will be denied; In such instances, the Department will inform patients that their applications have been rejected. Within 30 days after the refusal of the first application, the patient may appeal the decision to the California Department of Public Health.

If additional information or paperwork is requested after the review of the MMIC application by the Mariposa County Health Department, the health department will notify the applicant. The applicant has 30 days from the notification date to provide any missing information or documentation.

Typically, MMICs are available to patients or caregivers approximately 2-3 weeks after the interview or appointment at the Mariposa County Health Department. Note that obtaining an MMIC may take an additional 1-2 weeks during peak periods.

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Mariposa County?

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) keeps track of cannabis sales revenue for nearly all counties in the state. However, no Mariposa County records could be identified on the CDTFA website. Cannabis legalization in California seems to have had minimal impact on Mariposa County's economy due to the county's prohibitions on cannabis activities such as manufacturing, retail, and delivery.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Mariposa County

In 2018, when California approved the sale of recreational cannabis, Mariposa County recorded 47 DUI arrests, 2 arrests for marijuana possession, and 4 arrests for marijuana sales. In 2019, the county recorded 41 DUI arrests, 4 arrests for marijuana possession, and 3 arrests for marijuana sales. Mariposa County recorded 33 arrests for DUI in 2020. In that year, the arrest record for marijuana possession and marijuana sales were 8 and 1, respectively.

In the years immediately preceding recreational marijuana sales, the county recorded 56 DUI arrests in 2015, 38 DUI arrests in 2016, and 40 DUI arrests in 2017. Marijuana possession arrests figures were 6, 4, and 5 in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Arrest figures for drug sales were 11, 31, and 1 in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Mariposa County Cannabis Overview