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Mendocino Medical Cannabis Cultivation Fact Sheet
WEC’s official relationship with cannabis cultivation began a decade ago when we helped draw attention to the environmental impacts of trespass marijuana operations on the Mendocino National Forest, and then organized the first volunteer clean-up efforts on the Forest.
In 2015 when medical cannabis cultivation was legalized, the State handed over to each County the job of writing its own detailed regulations. Mendocino County was somewhat slow to act and as a result, some members of the grower community presented the voters with a ballot initiate of their own that would regulate the industry.
After much debate, the WEC publicly opposed the initiative because we felt it failed to protect many of the vulnerable natural environments of Mendocino County. When the initiative was defeated, WEC threw itself into working with the County Board of Supervisors, other environmental groups, cannabis farmers, the Farm Bureau, neighborhood groups and others to create the best possible cannabis cultivation ordinance for the County.
Our efforts were well rewarded. For example, the Ordinance, approved by the Board of Supervisors in the Spring of 2017, protects the County’s remote, drier, less stable rangeland watersheds from widespread expansion of commercial cannabis cultivation; cannabis products labeled as “Mendocino County grown” must be produced using organic methods; and no mature forest trees, including oak trees, can be cleared for cannabis cultivation.
Our job now is to help disseminate these regulations, to help cultivators comply, and to help enforce the Ordinance by being alert to flagrant violations. To this end, WEC, in collaboration with the County Agriculture Commissioner and others, has produced the following summary of the Ordinance specifically for distribution to real estate offices and others involved in buying and developing property in Mendocino County.