Cannabis Cultivation

  1. Is cannabis cultivation allowed in unincorporated areas in Sacramento County?
  2. Can I grow cannabis outdoors on my property?
  3. What are the requirements for an indoor cannabis grow?
  4. What are the consequences of an illegal cannabis grow?
  5. Isn’t cannabis still illegal under federal law?
     

1. Is cannabis cultivation allowed in unincorporated areas in Sacramento County?

California state law allows for the cultivation of six cannabis plants inside all single private residences, or in a secured accessory structure. Ordinances for the unincorporated areas of Sacramento County allow for small indoor cannabis grows of 6​ plants or fewer, but with significant limitations. Any cultivation operations that do not meet all the guidelines are subject to enforcement action, along with any applicable fees and penalties. See Sacramento County Code Chapter 6.88 for more information.

2. Can I grow cannabis outdoors on my property?

No. Outdoor cultivation of cannabis is completely prohibited in unincorporated Sacramento County. Outdoor grows are subject to enforcement from Sacramento County Code Enforcement and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.

3. What are the requirements for an indoor cannabis grow?

In order to comply with Sacramento County ordinances, the cannabis grow must meet ALL of the following requirements:

  • The cultivation occurs within either, but not both: 1)  a single room of a private residence; or 2) a fully enclosed and secure structure located upon the grounds of a private residence. Outdoor cultivation on any parcel is prohibited. Cultivation for commercial use is also prohibited. 
  • The designated cultivation area must be secured by lock and key or other security device which prevents unauthorized entry, is inaccessible to minors, and is not visible from the public right of way.
  • Regardless of the number of occupants of a private residence, personal cultivation on any parcel is limited to a maximum of six (6) cannabis plants, whether immature or mature.
  • The cultivation areas, including any lighting, plumbing, or electrical components used, comply with Title 16 (Building and Construction) and Title 17 (Fire Prevention) of this Code. The cultivation areas must be properly ventilated so as not create humidity, mold, or other related problems. Lighting shall not exceed 1,000 watts per light. The use of gas products (CO2, butane, etc.) or CO2 and ozone generators for cannabis cultivation are prohibited.
  • Cultivation is not conducted in a manner that constitutes a public nuisance. A public nuisance may be deemed to exist if the cultivation produces light, glare, heat, noise, odor, or vibration that is or whose effect is either detrimental to public health, safety, or welfare or interferes with the reasonable enjoyment of life or property; or if cultivation is deemed hazardous due to the use or storage of materials, processes, products, or wastes.
  • The primary use of the property remains at all times as a residence, with legal and functioning cooking, sleeping, and sanitation facilities with proper ingress and egress. No room shall be used for cannabis cultivation where such cultivation will impair or prevent the primary uses of cooking of meals, sleeping, and bathing.
  • If the parcel and private residence are not owned by the cultivator, the cultivator must have a legal right to occupy and use the parcel and private residence in order to cultivate cannabis.  The cultivator shall obtain written consent of the property owner prior to any cultivation commencing in compliance with County Codes. Said consent must be evidenced by a signed and notarized statement from the property owner permitting cultivation on the affected parcel.  Refer to Sacramento County Code section 6.88.050(G) for complete requirements. 

4. What are the consequences of an illegal cannabis grow?

Property owners and tenants that maintain or allow an illegal cannabis grow are subject to Code Enforcement actions including but not limited to search warrants, investigative fees, penalties up to $1,000 per plant per day in excess of the allowed 6 plants, penalties up to $1,000 per violation, per day, of housing, building, or zoning codes that exist as a result of the cannabis grow, and recovery of any other costs incurred by the department in the course of the investigation.

5. Isn’t cannabis still illegal under federal law?

Federal law still prohibits general cultivation, possession, and use of cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance. Federal drug laws and enforcement policy are the responsibility of federal authorities and are separate from any State and County regulations and regulatory agencies. Compliance with State and/or County laws does not provide protection or exemption from criminal prosecution at the federal level.
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