No. Commercial cannabis cultivation is prohibited in Solano County. However, in California, Solano County's home state, medical and recreational use of cannabis is legal. In 1996, California voters legalized medical cannabis by approving Proposition 215, otherwise called the Compassionate Use Act. This Act permits persons 18 years or older and minors with specific medical conditions to use medical marijuana without risking legal repercussions. Also, state voters approved Proposition 64, otherwise known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act in 2016, to legalize recreational marijuana in California. The Senate passed the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) in 2017 to empower each city and county to regulate cannabis in their domain. Solano County adopted Ordinance 1799 in 2018 to restrict all commercial cannabis activities, including cultivation, in unincorporated parts of Solano County.
Ordinance 2017-1788 permits the cultivation of medical and recreational cannabis for personal use in both incorporated and unincorporated parts of Solano County. According to Section III(B)(8) of the Ordinance, personal cannabis cultivation activities include planting, trimming, growing, harvesting, grading, curing, and drying cannabis. All personal cannabis cultivation activities must be conducted in private residences. Qualified persons can grow up to six mature and twelve immature medical cannabis plants and six recreational cannabis plants indoors.
Also, Ordinance 2017-1788 allows personal-use cultivation of up to three medical cannabis plants outdoors. In such cases, growers must obtain an exception for medicinal cannabis outdoor cultivation from the Department of Resource Management. However, recreational marijuana users cannot legally cultivate cannabis outdoors. Ordinance 2017-1788 requires all cannabis cultivation areas to be secured to prevent access by minors or unauthorized persons.
Commercial manufacturing of cannabis is illegal in Solano County. Also, Ordinance No. 2018-1799 forbids the commercial manufacturing of cannabis in unincorporated areas of the county. Nevertheless, Solano County cities are authorized to regulate cannabis manufacturing operations in their domains. For instance, the City of Vallejo approved Ordinance 1812 to regulate medical and recreational cannabis business activities, including manufacturing. Under this ordinance, cannabis manufacturing activities include the propagation, compounding, preparation, and production of cannabis products without releasing gas into the environment. Prospective cannabis manufacturers must obtain cannabis manufacturing (CM) permits to operate legally. Also, they must hold valid cannabis business retailer (CR) licenses.
No. Ordinance No. 2018-1799 prohibits retail cannabis facilities from operating in unincorporated parts of Solano County. However, the county allows individual cities to regulate cannabis retailing activities within their domains. For instance, the City of Vallejo allows cannabis dispensaries to sell recreational marijuana products to persons 21 years and older. Also, they can sell medical cannabis to marijuana patients 18 years or older and caregivers. Ordinance 1812 of the Vallejo Municipal Code requires cannabis retailers to obtain cannabis business retailer (CR) permits. CR permit holders can also get approval to operate other types of cannabis businesses, including cultivation, distribution, and testing laboratories. Cannabis dispensaries in Vallejo can sell various marijuana products including, concentrates, topicals, and edibles, to eligible persons.
Cannabis delivery is legal in Solano County. Although Ordinance No. 2018-1799 prohibits commercial cannabis retailers from operating in unincorporated areas, there is no restriction on cannabis delivery to residents of such places. Therefore, licensed businesses based in incorporated Solano County cities and other California counties can deliver marijuana and marijuana products to customers in unincorporated areas of the county. Only adults 21 years or older can have cannabis products delivered to them legally. Generally, when delivering medical marijuana in Solano County, patients and caregivers are required to present their medical marijuana cards.
Qualified cannabis patients in Solano County must obtain Medical Marijuana Identification Cards under the California Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program (MMICP) to buy marijuana legally. This card proves that the patient has a doctor's recommendation to use cannabis for personal medical purposes.
Only persons 18 years or older are eligible for medical marijuana cards in Solano County. In a situation where an individual is under 18 years, they must show proof that they are independent, or their legal guardian or parent must consent to them getting the card. Prospective cardholders must provide proof of residence in Solano County. Acceptable documents for this purpose include motor vehicle registration issued by the DMV, current utility bills, and mortgage or rental agreements with current Solano County addresses. In addition, a prospective cardholder must have a recommendation given by a licensed doctor attesting that they suffer from specific medical conditions that qualify them for medical cannabis. Such medical conditions include AIDS, cancer, arthritis, severe nausea, anorexia, migraine, glaucoma, chronic pain, persistent muscle spasms, and seizures.
To obtain a medical marijuana card in Solano County, an eligible patient must fill out a Medical Marijuana Program Application/Renewal Form (DHS 9042) and present valid government-issued photo identification. They must submit their applications between 8:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on weekdays, in person, at:
Department of Public Health
275 Beck Avenue, MS 5-185
Fairfield, CA 94533
The Department of Public Health (DPH) requires individuals to apply in person because it must physically capture their photographs which will appear on their medical marijuana cards. Typically, the Department will contact the recommending physicians to verify the medical information provided by their patients. Applicants can call the DPH at 1 (707) 784-8060 to inquire about the county's MMIC program.
Solano County has benefited economically from cannabis legalization. County-based total cannabis taxable sales figures published by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) show the impact of marijuana legalization on the county's economy. According to the report, the total taxable sales generated from cannabis in Solano County increased steadily between the second quarter of 2018 and 2021.
In 2018, the CDTFA reported $7.9 million as the amount Solano County generated as cannabis taxable sales. This figure increased to $12.8 million in 2019 and $14.8 million in 2020. Between the first and third quarters of 2021, Solano County made over $50.8 million from cannabis sales. This upward trend of marijuana sales figures over the years translates to increasing tax revenues for Solano County.
According to crime reports published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Solano County Sheriff's Office made 63 DUI (Driving Under Influence) arrests in 2017, the year before recreational cannabis sales began in California. In 2018, cannabis-related DUI arrests increased slightly to 69. By 2020, the number of DUI arrests that the Sheriff's Office made dropped significantly to 17.
Also, the Sheriff's Office made one marijuana possession arrest and five cannabis sales and manufacturing arrests in 2018. Cannabis possession arrests increased to four, while sales and manufacturing arrests declined to four in 2020. These data show that cannabis legalization had varying impacts on crime rates in Solano County. While there were no significant changes in marijuana-related arrests in the county, DUI arrests declined.