Policy

MCA Gathering 2020 Cannabis Crop Report Data

MCA is working with the Mendocino County Department of Agriculture to gather useful cannabis crop data to include as an addition to the 2020 Mendocino County Crop Report.

This is an historic step toward recognition of cannabis as agriculture in Mendocino County. Crop Reports track the production and sales of agricultural commodities such as livestock, fruits & vegetables, timber etc. You can view reports from as far back as 1985 on the County website at https://www.mendocinocounty.org/government/agriculture

The State of California lets Counties include a cannabis addendum to their crop reports, and MCA has advocated that Mendocino take this opportunity to illustrate the important role that licensed cannabis cultivation plays locally. There have not been many cannabis addenda created statewide, so we sincerely appreciate that the County has chosen to adopt this suggestion, and as such we are working with them to collect the data requested by the Ag Department. Once collected, we will submit the aggregated data WITHOUT ANY CONTACT INFORMATION for inclusion as part of the 2020 Crop Report. Individual contact, cannabis crop and sales information will remain strictly confidential.

We would appreciate you completing this survey and returning it to us no later than June 25,2021. Your response is desired even if you may have harvested only a small amount or no cannabis this past season. It is understood that often times cannabis that was harvested in one year is sold in the following year. When filling out the survey PLEASE TOTAL ALL ACTIVITIES BETWEEN JAN 1 – DEC 31 2020 ONLY for all categories!

This survey is ONLY for County authorized and State Licensed cannabis cultivators.

CLICK HERE to take the survey.

Thank you for participating!

MCA Memos for 6/8 and 6/9 BoS Meetings

CLICK HERE to check out MCA’s memos for the following Items being discussed this week by the Board of Supervisors:


6/8: (CLICK HERE to view County materials)

  • Item 5c – Mendocino County Water Agency 
  • Item 5d – Cannabis Enforcement

6/9: (CLICK HERE to view County Materials)

  • Item 6a – County Strategic Planning

If you support our recommendations, please email bos@mendocinocounty.org to let them know!


If you would like to sign up to make public comment at the BoS meetings, CLICK HERE.

BoS Meeting Recap 06-02-2021

On Wednesday June 2, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors met to discuss and vote on the proposed Commercial Cannabis Activities Ordinance (CCAO).


Item 3a – CCAO

In order to enact the ordinance in time for the local CEQA jurisdiction exemption, the Board passed an ordinance that was not in line with the Planning Commission recommendations to limit cultivation to 10% or 2 acres, whichever is less. The latter part of the sentence (or 2 acres, whichever is less) was removed from the ordinance, keeping the 10% allowance. Item 3a was adopted on a 4 – 1 vote with Supervisor Haschak dissenting.


However, because of overwhelming comments from the public, in a separate action, the Board directed staff to come back to the Board with suggested amendments to the CCAO later this summer, or as soon as possible, where the Board would consider a phased-in approach to expansion – possibly starting with a 2-acre cap. Such a phased-in approach could be directed by the Board to undergo an analysis of impact (whether the amendment would need an Initial Study or EIR if amendments were enacted) before going to the Planning Commission and then returning to the Board for possible enactment. 


The Board also voted to strike a protection for existing Phase 1 & 2 cultivators from being able to phase out their existing use of water from haulers in the CCAO even if the use is from a lawful source. This would result in those cultivators, regardless of the lawful use and source of water, not being able to utilize any water trucking as part of a new land use based discretionary permit. The Board did choose to align energy requirements with the existing state rules.


The Board decided to address other outstanding issues in the future as amendments to the ordinance, such as whether and what type of emergencies would allow any cultivator to temporarily use lawfully sourced water from a hauler on a temporary basis, and whether to impose more restrictions such as striking all Mixed Light activities except in Industrial zoning. It was very clear that but for the July 1st deadline, the Board would have more closely considered and evaluated changes that are now being punted to later amendments, creating uncertainty regarding the actual specifics of the new permitting requirements.


Recommendations that had been made, both by MCA and by the Planning Commission to further support Phase 1 and 2 operators in transitioning to this new ordinance, while seemingly supported in discussion and not opposed by Staff, were not included directly in the ordinance.  These items were a) explicit priority for incoming applications from existing operators transitioning to the new ordinance, b) language directing the creation of a mechanism to enable existing operators to continue their operations while in the application process, and c) language providing a streamlined application process from Phase 1/2 to the new ordinance. We will continue advocating for their inclusion.


Additional items of note:


The amended ordinance includes:
*Adding a definition to BP code, section 8000: “Agricultural Activity” means the cultivation and tillage of the soil, dairying, the production, cultivation, growing and harvesting of any agricultural commodity (including cannabis), the raising of livestock our poultry, and any practices performed by a farmer or on a farm as incident to or in conjunction with those farming operations including preparation of the products for market”.

*Adding to the definition of prior crop history: “All cultivation sites in the Rangeland zoning district shall be located within the footprint of a site that has been previously tilled and can show evidence of agricultural activity at any time between the dates of Jan. 1, 200 and Jan 1, 2016”.

*Deleting – Lighting: Medium indoor and Medium Mixed light Cultivation sites shall use renewable energy sources for hearing, cooling and energy light loads. – will instead align with State energy regulations

Lighting shall (changed from ‘should’) not leave mixed light and indoor cultivation structures. Security lighting shall be shielded and down cast”.

Cultivation structures will be sited and designed to avoid or minimize visual impacts from roads (changed from ‘public rights of way’).

“The location and operation of the cannabis cultivation site will, to the maximum extent feasible, avoid or minimize its impact on environmentally sensitive areas including hillsides exceeding fifteen (15) percent, oak woodland, and timber resources”. – will come back to discuss what kinds of situations would allow for removal and mitigation of diseased or dangerous trees


*Adding: “The proposed cultivation site is located on a site that has been previously tilled and has evidence of agricultural activity at any time between the dates of January 1, 200, and January 1, 2016”.

*Appendix A changes: “Parcels in the AG or RL zoning district that have a minimum parcel size of ten (10) acres or larger may cultivate up to 10% of the parcel area with the issuance of a Major Use permit”. 

The BoS Directed staff to send the items that remain for consideration (expansion Cap, emergency definition for when water delivery would be permissible, additionally restricting mixed light, etc.) to the Planning Commission to study and recommend changes before sending back to the BoS

The Planning Commission will need at least 45 days to review and make recommendations and conduct environmental analysis based on what the Board proposes, and come back after that – a process of likely 3 months, as calendars are already booked through July, 2021.

The CCAO will come back to the BoS, who will vote on final adoption to Chapter 22.18 on June 22. The conversation regarding amendments mentioned will come back around August for discussion and possible action.


Item 4a – Tax Relief

The following motion was made: Mendocino Cannabis Program Manager work w/ Tax collector and PBS to identify opportunities to bring fairness and parity with other counties and shift the burden of cannabis cultivation taxation to larger farms should they materials, and come back with ideas to provide tax relief for the drought to encourage cultivators to reduce size during low water conditions.

Materials for 6-2-2021 BoS Meeting

On June 2 the Board of Supervisors will review the Planning Commission recommendations related to the proposed Commercial Cannabis Activities Ordinance.

There has been a great deal of public conversation around this proposed ordinance, and voices on the extreme ends of the issue have so far generated the most attention. MCA as an organization strives to support our members by developing practical solutions to the complex issues that face us all. We understand the importance of engaging with all relevant stakeholders and creating policy recommendations that both reflect our values and get us as close as practically possible to our goals, understanding the complex environment of competing interests throughout the county.

It is with these considerations in mind that we have developed a position designed to encourage compromise among all of those who are engaged in this county-wide conversation. We understand that to some this position will go too far, and to some this position will not go far enough. The nature of compromise, both as a trade association representing the full spectrum of cannabis businesses in Mendocino county, and in public policy, often means that no one gets exactly what they want, but hopefully everyone gets something they can live with. In hopes of helping to bring together our fractured community, we believe our recommendations create a compromise that gives all stakeholders enough of what is important to them to come together and move our community forward.

Additionally, there are two letters that have been submitted to the BoS that warrant your review. The first is a letter from local Attorney Hannah Nelson (who we are also proud to count as our Senior Policy Advisor), outlining the reasons why the CCAO discretionary use permit process is essential to protect as many existing Phase 1 and 2 operators as possible.  The second is letter from MCA’s land use attorney Peter Kiel supporting Hannah’s memo.  As many of you may have heard, there is talk about a referendum to nullify the entire ordinance should it pass.  If you’ve read our memo, you know we believe this referendum is a danger to existing operators, and these letters reinforce that consideration.

CLICK HERE to view our memos and the letters from Hannah Nelson and Peter Kiel.

CLICK HERE to review the materials for the meeting, including the Planning Commissions recommendations.


We urge you to write to the Board of Supervisors at bos@mendocinocounty.org to let them know you support the MCA compromise position for limited expansion, plus an EIR for additional expansion, in an effort to bridge the gaps in our community and allow us all to move forward.


CLICK HERE if you would like to sign up to make a comment during the BoS meeting tomorrow.

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MCA CCAO Recommendations for 6-2-2021

On June 2 the Board of Supervisors will review the Planning Commission recommendations related to the proposed Commercial Cannabis Activities Ordinance.

There has been a great deal of public conversation around this proposed ordinance, and voices on the extreme ends of the issue have so far generated the most attention. MCA as an organization strives to support our members by developing practical solutions to the complex issues that face us all. We understand the importance of engaging with all relevant stakeholders and creating policy recommendations that both reflect our values and get us as close as practically possible to our goals, understanding the complex environment of competing interests throughout the county.

It is with these considerations in mind that we have developed a position designed to encourage compromise among all of those who are engaged in this county-wide conversation. We understand that to some this position will go too far, and to some this position will not go far enough. The nature of compromise, both as a trade association representing the full spectrum of cannabis businesses in Mendocino county, and in public policy, often means that no one gets exactly what they want, but hopefully everyone gets something they can live with. In hopes of helping to bring together our fractured community, we believe our recommendations create a compromise that gives all stakeholders enough of what is important to them to come together and move our community forward.

CLICK HERE to read our recommendations.

CLICK HERE to review the materials for the meeting, including the Planning Commissions recommendations.

MCA Memo for Item 4ak Facilities Ordinance on 5-25-2021

In advance of the 5/25/2021 Board of Supervisors meeting where the Facilities Ordinance is on the Consent Calendar, we have prepared a memo in which we strongly recommend revising the provision that sequesters cannabis sales at a cannabis event if alcohol is also sold, and creating a standalone Microbusiness permit to support the survival of small licensed cannabis businesses in Mendocino. 

CLICK HERE to read the full memo

If you support these recommendations please email bos@mendocinocounty.org and let them know!

Farm Safety Best Practices for Covid

The Mendocino Department of Public Health has released new Farm Safety Best Practices for combating the spread of Covid.  The County has seen an uptick in cases in the north part of the county, and the guidance below is designed to minimize risks on the farm.

Best Practices for Farm Safety

Home and traveling to and from the farm:

  1. Don’t travel if you are sick or if you have been in contact with someone sick in the last 14 days.
  2. Close contact is defined as anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more (in a 24 hour period) with or without a mask.
  3. If you want to get tested, especially if in close contact with someone who has been sick but you are NOT sick, testing is encouraged.  Resources in Ukiah are at the fairgrounds at www.mendocinocounty.org; see Covid-19 or call 707-472-2759 or contact your local health clinic.  For traveling vaccine event information, call 707-513-5469.
  4. Everyone should provide their own bedding, toiletries, food utensils, smoking utensils.  Do not share.
  5. Try and limit sleeping quarters to one person.
  6. Stay 6 feet distant/apart.
  7. Try to car-pool to/from work and elsewhere with only the people in your household or workgroup and open windows in the car and indoors.

If you have had close contact with someone who has Covid-19 symptoms or tests positive for Covid-19

  1. Covid-19 symptoms are fever (100.4F or more), chills, cough, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.  Seek emergency medical care immediately. If trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds depending on skin tone.
  2. Quarantine immediately for 10 days, but keep watching for symptoms for 14 days. Stay home even if the Covid test is negative.  If you test positive, stay home AND notify your close contacts.  Call Mendocino County 707-513-5469 for assistance while in Isolation/ Quarantine (10 days)
  3. Get Covid-19 test at least by day 3-5
  4. Call and notify your provider that you have had close contact.
  5. Please ANSWER a phone call from Contact Tracer and cooperate. **Mendocino County serves all individuals regardless of citizenship, insurance, etc.

On the farm:

  1. Self-screen for Covid-19 symptoms, and if possible, take a temperature.  If temperature is over 100.4 or feeling sick (fever/chills, head congestion, headache, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, fatigue, body aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea), return home and follow instructions in the next section.
  2. Wear a mask when around other people, inside (includes greenhouse), and outside and stay six or more feet apart!  Breathing heavily due to exertion can spread the virus to those around you.
  3. Wash hands and use hand sanitizer regularly.
  4. Don’t share tools, clothing, food utensils, joints, pipes, or other smoking paraphernalia, etc.
  5. Wash all tools after use.
  6. Consider activities that can be automated rather than done by hand.

If someone on the farm feels ill (see symptoms above)

  1. That person needs to isolate for 10 days. If short of breath and very sick, go to the emergency department.
  2. If the person has no local doctor, contact or go to the clinic or emergency room.
  3. If a test is positive, stay in isolation for 10 days, you should be contacted by Mendocino County Health Dept. with more instructions. Please talk to Contact Tracer and cooperate. **
  • For Isolation/Quarantine, restrict yourself, alone, to one room in the house (or outside alone). Assign one person to go to town for supplies, food, medications, etc. Don't share utensils or toiletries.
  • Wipe down all kitchen and bathroom surfaces with disinfectant each time facility is used.

**MENDOCINO COUNTY serves all individuals regardless of citizenship, insurance, etc. 

COVID-19 vaccinations are free, and they are safe and effective.  There are three different vaccines available. They are Pfizer, Moderna (both are a two-shot series), and Johnson & Johnson's Janssen, a one-shot vaccine.

MCA Policy Call Thursday May 13 at 7pm

Please join us on zoom at 7PM on Thursday May 13 to discuss the latest in local and state cannabis policy!

Topic: Policy Call
Time: May 13, 2021 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 707 101 9333
Passcode: 707101
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Meeting ID: 707 101 9333
Passcode: 707101
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/keDuScT2th

MCA Memos for 5-11-2021 BoS Meeting

In advance of the Board of Supervisors meeting on 5/11/2021 MCA has prepared the following memos: 

Item 4a - Cannabis Tax

Item 5c - Cannabis Enforcement 

Click the link to review: http://bit.ly/MCA-Memos-5-11-2021

 If you agree with our recommendations please email bos@mendocinocounty.org and share your support!

Local Tax Appeal Deadline Thursday May 13 2021 @ 3PM

If you would like to appeal your County minimum tax for any reason, including due to non-cultivation or non-operation, an important deadline is coming up. Tax Appeal packets AND payment for the initial Appeal Fee of $341.81 MUST be received by the Mendocino Cannabis Program by 3PM on Thursday May 13!

DEADLINE TO SUBMIT IS Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. Late or incomplete applications will NOT be accepted.

CLICK HERE for Notice of Appeal Application for Cannabis Business Tax Form

PLEASE BE ADVISED: This will be your ONLY opportunity to appeal the 2020 Cannabis Business Tax. All 2020 cultivation tax appeal applications MUST be submitted by the deadline listed above.

You may submit an Appeal Application in person to the County of Mendocino Cannabis Program (MCP), Monday - Thursday from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m., BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. To schedule an appointment, contact the MCP at (707) 234-6680.

Appeal Applications can be submitted by mail with a check or money order (do not mail cash or credit card), but must be received by the MCP office no later than 3:00 pm on Thursday May 13, 2021.

Applications for Appeal will only be accepted for the 2020 Cannabis Business Tax. All prior tax year appeal periods have expired.

Your appeal packet must include the following:

1. A completed Notice of Appeal;
2. A copy of the attached invoice;
3. Any and all other documentation supporting your appeal; and
4. The initial appeal fee of $341.81.

Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant without review.

Use the Notice of Appeal Application Form  to contest a minimum commercial cannabis cultivation business tax being imposed pursuant to Mendocino County Code (“MCC”) section 6.32.050(B) if you are the person or entity responsible for paying such tax.  To use this form, the basis for your appeal must be that cultivation of cannabis did not occur on the property containing the cultivation site during the tax year specified in your appeal.

Resolution 19-372 (posted Nov. 7, 2019)

Please click the above link to see the Resolution of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors establishing the Cannabis Business Tax Appellate Process and delegating authority to hearing officers to hear the appeals, as approved on October 22, 2019.

CLICK HERE to see this information on the County website.

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