No. Commercial cannabis cultivation is illegal in Siskiyou County. However, in California, the county's home state, cannabis is legal for medical and recreational uses. California legalized medical marijuana in 1996 through a voter-approved Act called the Compassionate Use Act (Proposition 215). Under this Act, qualified medical patients (18 years or older) and caregivers can cultivate marijuana for medical purposes. In November 2016, California voters again approved Proposition 64, otherwise called the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, legalizing recreational cannabis for adults 21 years or older. Under this Act, eligible persons can grow up to six marijuana plants at home, subject to local regulations. California passed SB 97 in 2017, which designated its general cannabis law called the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulatory and Safety Act (MAUCRSA). This Act permits counties and cities in the state to decide whether or not to allow commercial cannabis operations within their jurisdictions.
Section 10-15.010 of the Siskiyou County Code prohibits commercial cannabis activities in the county. It exempts cannabis enterprises (profit or non-profit) from obtaining land use entitlement or business permits in Siskiyou County. According to Section 10-15.050 of the Siskiyou County Code, anyone caught cultivating cannabis for commercial purposes in the county risks facing legal repercussions.
The Siskiyou Board of Supervisors enacted chapter 14 of the Siskiyou County Code (Personal Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance), legalizing medical and recreational marijuana cultivation for personal use. Therefore, adults, 21 years or older, and medical marijuana patients in the county can grow marijuana at home without licenses and not fear legal repercussions. The Ordinance prohibits outdoor cultivation of personal-use cannabis. Medical or recreational cannabis grown on private residences cannot exceed six marijuana plants at a time. Also, each private residence can have only one cultivation area, which cannot exceed 100 square feet. The growing area must be hidden from public view and secure, preventing access by minors and unauthorized persons. The ordinance requires anyone cultivating personal-use cannabis to have state-approved wastewater disposal and sewer systems.
Cannabis manufacturing is illegal in Siskiyou County. Section 10-15.010 of the Siskiyou County Code prohibits all commercial cannabis manufacturing activities in unincorporated parts of the county for both medical and recreational use. Therefore, cannabis manufacturers cannot obtain permits to operate legally in Siskiyou County. According to Section 6 of Ordinance No. 17-11, anyone caught manufacturing cannabis in unincorporated parts of the county risks legal repercussions.
Cannabis retail is prohibited in Siskiyou County. Section 10-15.010 of the Siskiyou County Code forbids the sale of cannabis in all zoning districts of the unincorporated parts of the county. The county does not issue business licenses for such operations.
Cannabis delivery is illegal in Siskiyou County. According to Section 10-14.015 of the County Code, business entities or individuals cannot obtain permits for cannabis delivery in Siskiyou County. Also, Chapter 15 of the Siskiyou County Code prohibits all commercial cannabis operations, including delivery within the county's unincorporated parts.
Eligible patients in Siskiyou County must register under California's Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program (MMICP) and obtain medical marijuana cards to use cannabis legally. To get a medical marijuana card in Siskiyou County, an eligible person must provide:
A legal guardian or parent must accompany a dependent minor to apply for a medical marijuana card, while an independent minor must show proof of emancipation. A medical marijuana card applicant in Siskiyou County must schedule an appointment with the Public Health Department by calling 1 (530) 841- 2134 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. On the appointed date, they should appear in person and submit completed application form and required documentation at:
County Public Health and Community Development
806 South Main Street
Yreka, CA 96097
A cannabis taxable sales reportpublished by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) shows that cannabis legalization has positively impacted Siskiyou County's economy due to the cannabis operations allowed in some cities. For instance, Mount Shasta, a city in Siskiyou County, allows some level of commercial cannabis activities under Chapter 18.91 of the Mount Shasta Municipal Code.
According to the CDTFA report, Siskiyou County's cannabis total taxable sales were over $3 million in 2018. The county generated a taxable sale of $4.2 million in 2019 and $6.5 million in 2020. In the first three quarters of 2021, the report revealed that Siskiyou County made total taxable sales worth $5 million on cannabis. These data indicate that Siskiyou County generates huge revenues on cannabis sales tax annually.
Based on the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) reports generated from the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office, cannabis legalization had varying impacts on crime rates in the county. The report showed 34 DUI (Driving Under the Influence) arrests in 2017. This figure decreased to 15 in 2018, the year recreational marijuana sales began in California. By 2019, DUI arrests recorded by the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office declined further to 13, and in 2020, only 10 DUI arrests were reported.
The FBI report also showed that the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office made 13 cannabis possession arrests and 16 arrests for cannabis sales and manufacturing in 2017. In 2018, the number of cannabis possession arrests increased to 26 while cannabis sales and manufacturing arrests figure dropped to 7. By 2019, the number of marijuana possession arrests fell to 22 while possession and manufacturing arrests dropped to 4. However, in 2020, cannabis possession arrests figure went up to 40. Similarly, the number of arrests for cannabis sales and manufacturing increased to 19 in 2020. These data suggest that DUI arrests in the county decreased steadily after cannabis legalization. In contrast, cannabis-related drug possession, manufacturing, and sales arrests did not follow a specific trend. Cannabis legalization does not seem to have a specific impact on the number of drug offenses in Siskiyou County.