Tehama County Cannabis Overview

  1. California Cannabis
  2. Tehama County Cannabis

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Tehama County?

Cultivation of cannabis for commercial purposes in Tehama County is illegal. However, cannabis cultivation for medical and recreational purposes is legal in California. California legalized medical cannabis through the Compassionate Use Act, also known as Proposition 215, in 1996. Under this Act, the state permits qualified medical patients and caregivers to possess and use cannabis for medical purposes. However, this is subject to local laws.

In November 2016, California voters approved the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, also known as Proposition 64. This Act legalized the cultivation, possession, and use of marijuana for recreational purposes by adults 21 years or older. Under the Act, adult Californians can grow up to six marijuana plants in their personal spaces, subject to local laws. In 2017, the California Legislature passed the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) to revise the Adult Use of Marijuana Act and other existing state's cannabis laws. The Act permits each jurisdiction in the state to determine whether to approve cannabis businesses in their locality.

In accordance with the California Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), the Tehama County Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance bans the cultivation of cannabis for commercial purposes. The Ordinance also prohibits outdoor cultivation while providing further cannabis regulations in unincorporated parts of the county area of the county. Such regulations include:

  • Indoor cultivation must not be in a residential building or premises intended for human residency
  • The structure used for indoor cultivation must be at least 100 feet away from all boundaries of the premises, except if residential use is permitted
  • Cannabis cultivation must not be within 1,000 feet of any school, church, child care center, school bus stops, parks, school evacuation sites, or youth-oriented facility, except if the cultivator is granted a waiver
  • The structure must meet building standards and comply with Title 15 of the Tehama County Code
  • The construction of a building for indoor cannabis cultivation shall be subject to permits
  • Annual registration of the cultivation premises is required

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Tehama County?

It is illegal to manufacture cannabis products for commercial purposes or in a building allocated for a private residence in Tehama County. The following limitations and regulations on cannabis manufacturing apply to unincorporated parts of the county:

  • It is illegal to process cannabis outdoors or within 100 feet of a residential area, except residential use is permitted
  • Cannabis manufacturing must not be within 1,000 feet of any school, church, child care center, school bus stops, parks, school evacuation sites, or youth-oriented facility, except if granted a waiver
  • Must meet building standards and comply with Title 15 of the Tehama County Code
  • The construction of a structure for manufacturing and processing, shall be subject to permits

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Tehama County?

According to the Tehama County Marijuana Dispensary Ordinance, cannabis retail is illegal. The Ordinance prohibits dispensaries or retail stores from commercial activities in all parts of the county. Chapter 17.09.040 of the Tehama County Marijuana Dispensary Ordinance further prohibits the establishment, construction, development, operation, or maintenance of a marijuana dispensary in any zoning district in the county. The county does not approve applications for building permits, use permits, or any other permit related to establishing or operating marijuana dispensaries.

However, the following medical facilities are exempted from these restrictions provided they are regulated by the Tehama County Code and comply strictly with the applicable state and county laws:

  • Clinics licensed according to the Health and Safety Code (Division 2, Chapter 1)
  • Licensed residential care facilities for persons with life-threatening illness, as per the Health & Safety Code (Division 2, Chapter 3.01)
  • Health care facilities licensed under the Health and Safety Code (Division 2, Chapter 2)
  • Licensed residential care facilities for the elderly in compliance with Division 2, Chapter 3.2 of the California Health and Safety Code
  • Home health agencies or a residential hospice licensed under the Health and Safety Code (Division 2, Chapter 8)

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Tehama County?

In line with the Tehama County Marijuana Dispensary Ordinance, cannabis delivery is illegal in the county as dispensaries are prohibited from providing delivery services. According to Chapter 17.09.030 of the County Ordinance, any facility building or location, whether permanent or temporary or fixed or mobile, is prohibited from providing marijuana delivery services in the county, notwithstanding the Tehama County Code.

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Tehama County

In compliance with the Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program (MMICP), the Tehama County Health Services Agency facilitates the registration of qualified patients and caregivers for medical marijuana cards. However, in line with state laws, only patients diagnosed with the following medical conditions are eligible for a medical marijuana card:

  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Cachexia
  • Migraine
  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • Anorexia
  • Persistent muscle spasms or seizures

To apply for a medical marijuana card in Tehama County, eligible persons must present the following:

  • A copy of a valid government-issued photo ID, such as driver's license, U.S. passport, or Veteran's Administration card
  • Proof of Tehama County residency, such as utility bill, rental payment receipt bearing the person's name and address, or a valid government-issued photo ID
  • A California Department of Health Services (DHS) Form 9044 signed by the patient's physician

Additionally, caregivers who wish to obtain identification cards must provide the following:

  • A government-issued identification card such as California's driver license, California state ID, or the U.S. passport
  • Proof that the patient being cared for has a medical marijuana ID card

A completed Form 9042 and other supporting documents should be submitted in person to the Tehama County Health Services Agency at:

Tehama County Health Services

818 Main Street

Red Bluff, CA 96080

Phone: (530) 527-8491

The County Health Services opens Mondays through Fridays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The Tehama County Health Services requires an applicant to pay a non-refundable fee of $52.42 for a medical marijuana card, either for the patient or caregiver. Recipients of Medi-Cal benefits are required to pay a non-refundable fee of $26.21 to the Agency.

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Tehama County?

Despite the legalization of cannabis in California, commercial cannabis activities in Tehama County are banned. Hence, the county has yet to feel the impact of cannabis legalization on its economy. The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration does not have published reports on revenue obtained from cannabis sales or operations within the county, including its cities and unincorporated areas.

The Effect of Cannabis Legislation on Crime Rates in Tehama County

In 2014 and 2015, the number of drug violation arrests recorded by the Tehama County Sheriff's Office, as reported by the FBI Crime Data Explorer, was 450 and 308 arrests, respectively. Upon the legalization of cannabis in 2016, Tehama County experienced a decrease in drug-related crimes and recorded a total of 228 arrests. Although in 2017, there was a slight increase from the previous year, the county recorded a reduced figure of 231 drug violations arrests. Drug-related arrests further declined in 2018 and 2019 when the county recorded 187 and 195 arrests, respectively. In 2020, the county recorded its lowest drug abuse arrests, with 109 arrests. These figures reveal that cannabis legalization significantly reduced the rates of drug-related crimes and arrests in Tehama County.

The legalization of cannabis in California has also significantly impacted the rates of DUI offenses in Tehama County. FBI Crime Data Explorer report shows that the county recorded 117 and 102 DUI arrests in 2014 and 2015. The county experienced a notable decrease in DUI offenses in the following years as 2016, 2018, and 2019 had 73, 2, and 2 arrests, respectively. No arrest was reported for 2017 and 2020.

Tehama County Cannabis Overview