Cannabis Cultivation Program FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions


What application phases are open for Cannabis Cultivation?

Phase 1 - CLOSED. Application period closed on October 4, 2019.

Phase 2 - OPEN. Type C-A, 1A and Type 2A Permits for indoor cultivation, and Type C-B, 1B and 2B Permits for mixed-light cultivation, which mixed-light cultivation must occur in a greenhouse equipped with filtered ventilation systems as described in paragraph (M) of section 10A.17.110 and may not occur in a hoop house, in the following zoning districts, subject to compliance with all other applicable conditions of this Chapter and Chapter 20.242: Limited Industrial (I-1), General Industrial (I-2), and Pinoleville Industrial (P-1). Proof of cultivation prior to January 1, 2016, is not required.

Phase 3 - TBD Please See Board of Supervisor Agendas for upcoming discussions.


How can I stay updated on Phase 3 and or Cannabis Program Changes?

To keep updated on any Cannabis Program notifications and the opening date for Phase 3, we encourage you to sign up for our Canna Notes e-Newsletter. Learn more by clicking HERE.


Can I reassign or transfer my Cannabis Cultivation Permit?

Only ISSUED and VALID (not expired) Mendocino County Cultivation Permits may be reassigned. If the permit is expired, it will require renewal by the original permit holder before it can be reassigned.

A Transfer or Reassignment Application and Instructions can be found by clicking HERE.


Can I reassign a Cannabis Cultivation Permit Application that is under review?

No. There is no mechanism within our ordinance that allows for reassignments of applications under review.


How can I apply for the Mendocino County Cannabis Equity Program? 

The County of Mendocino was notified that the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has awarded $2,242,704 in Cannabis Equity Grant Funding towards the development and implementation of a Local Equity Program for Mendocino County in April of 2020. 

The application process and criteria for qualification has not yet been determined. The program will not begin until we have the Board of Supervisors’ approval of the program budget and we actually receive the funds from the State. It will take some time to develop the program, which may be delayed by the current Public Health Crisis.

Planning and Building Services will be updating information on the Cannabis Program website pages as it become available. Please stay tuned, and sign up for Canna Notes on eNotifications to stay up to date.

Click here to view the grant funding Press Release from April 20, 2020.


Do I need to submit a Live Scan and a copy of a government issued identification card for my family who is involved in cultivation at my site?

Yes. A Live Scan criminal history inquiry is required for every individual involved in the cultivation of cannabis on the site. The applicant is responsible to have all individuals engaged in cultivation of cannabis listed and a Live Scan and government issued ID submitted to the Cannabis Program. Cultivation of cannabis  means any activity involving the planting, growing, harvesting, drying, curing, grading, or trimming or processing of cannabis.

How can I determine my property's zoning?

You can do a "Property Search" by address or APN number on our website HERE. You can see the Zoning Code by clicking on the Land Use Tab on the search results.


How can I report a Cannabis Cultivation Complaint?

Mendocino County Code Enforcement is concerned with complaints pertaining to Planning and Building codes and ordinances in the unincorporated areas of Mendocino County.  Code Enforcement also handles complaints for the Medical and Non-medical Cannabis Ordinance(s).

Cannabis Cultivation Online Complaint Form

Cannabis Complaint Hotline: (844) 421-WEED (9333)


How can I find out if a property/individual is legally cultivating Cannabis and in good standing with Mendocino County's Cannabis Cultivation Permitting Program?

You can view and/or search our active applications and permits report online by clicking HERE.

If you have a Cannabis Cultivation complaint please refer to the question above about how to submit a Code Enforcement Complaint.


How many permits can a person obtain?

No person can apply for more than two (2) permits of any type in Mendocino County and two (2) different persons cannot apply for a permit on the same legal parcel.

Please see the following Ordinance sections below for further detail: Ordinance Section 10A.17.020 – Definitions. "Person" means an individual, firm, partnership, joint venture, association, corporation, limited liability company, estate, trust, business trust, receiver, syndicate, or any other group or combination acting as a unit and includes the plural as well as the singular number.


Is there a deadline to submit a relocation application if my cultivation site is located in a sunset zone or if I wish to relocate?

Yes, May 4, 2020 is the deadline to apply for relocation outlined in the ordinance 10A.17.080 (B)(3)(a)-(g). Applications include submitting a completed Relocation Worksheet with the required materials to the Cannabis Program on or prior to May 4, 2020. Incomplete or late applications submitted after the the May 4, 2020 deadline will not be accepted. 

Please read the requirements in the ordinance which includes the origin site restoration and the destination site meeting all the requirements and standards pursuant to Chapter 20.242. Applications that do not meet the requirements of the ordinance will not be approved.

All who plan to submit a relocation application are encouraged to speak with Cannabis Program staff prior to submitting, to ensure their questions are addressed, and all application materials are included prior to the deadline.


If a cultivator intends to relocate his or her cultivation activities to a destination site, but is unable to restore the origin site, can the cultivator relocate during phase one?

No. Regardless of the reason, inability to restore the origin site will preclude a cultivator’s ability to relocate during phase one. Restoration is mandatory. (See MCC §10A.17.080(B)(3)). However, a cultivator who is unable to relocate during phase for inability to restore will not be precluded from applying for a permit during phase two or phase three, subject to meeting the other requirements for those phases.




Frequently Asked Phase I Application Questions


If multiple cultivators previously cultivated a single cultivation site as a group, but now each cultivator desires to relocate to separate parcels/cultivation sites, which cultivator has priority to claim proof of prior cultivation?

MCC Chapter 10A.17 does not establish an order of priority for such applications. It is up to the cultivators themselves to decide how to proceed in such a circumstance given that a single cultivation site may not be split into multiple cultivation sites on multiple parcels through the phase one relocation process.


If multiple cultivators previously cultivated a single cultivation site as a group, and one of the cultivators desires to relocate while others do not, can the cultivators who remain on the origin site continue to cultivate?

If a person is able to successfully relocate to a destination site, the claim of prior cultivation on the origin site will be extinguished. (See MCC §10A.17.080(B)(3)(f)). The consequence of successful relocation is that no other person can claim prior cultivation on the origin site, which would prevent the cultivators remaining on the origin site from obtaining a Permit during phase one. However, successful relocation requires restoration of the origin site. Therefore, if active cultivation persists on the origin site, relocation will not be possible and any potential claim of prior cultivation on the origin site will not be extinguished.


If a single cultivation site was previously cultivated by multiple cultivators as a group, can each separate cultivator establish a cultivation site on separate parcels during phase one?

No. A claim of prior cultivation on a single cultivation site may be associated only with a single cultivation site. Therefore, the origin site that forms the basis for proof of prior cultivation may not be split into multiple cultivation sites on more than one parcel.


If a cultivator intends to relocate, must the cultivation activities used to show proof of cultivation prior to 1/1/16 be on the same legal parcel as the proof of current cultivation activities after 1/1/16?

Yes. When establishing “proof of prior cultivation” the cultivation activities before and after 1/1/16 must be the same legal parcel (See MCC §10A.17.080(B)(1)(a) & (b)). This legal parcel will become the origin site for purposes of relocation. Only after establishing prior cultivation on the origin site can a cultivator proceed with the relocation process for a permit on a destination site under MCC §10A.17.080(B)(3).


Is there a pathway for a cultivator to obtain a Permit for a parcel/cultivation site other than the one on which the cultivator can show “proof of prior cultivation” pursuant to MCC §10A.17.080(B)(1)?

Yes, through the relocation process identified in MCC §10A.17.080(B)(3).


Must the cultivation activities used to show proof of cultivation prior to 1/1/16 be located on the same legal parcel as the proof of current cultivation activities?

Yes. In order to show proof of prior cultivation pursuant to MCC §10A.17.080(B)(1)(a) & (b), a cultivator must show that the current cultivation activities and the cultivation activities prior to 1/1/16 took place on the same legal parcel.


May a corporate entity apply for a cultivation permit during phase one?

Permits during Phase One of the Medical Cannabis Cultivation Regulation may be issued only to a person or entity that can show proof that that person or entity was cultivating cannabis on the cultivation site prior to January 1, 2016. This means that a business entity may apply for a cultivation permit, but the proof of prior cultivation must show that the prior cultivation was being performed by that entity. Otherwise, only the person who can show they were the prior cultivator may apply for and obtain a permit.