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State Agencies Host Four Cannabis Permitting Workshops in May and June

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) are hosting several cannabis permitting workshops in May and June.

“These free events are designed to help cultivators through the state licensing process,” said James Rosauer, CDFW Cannabis Program Supervisor. “Participants can ask specific project questions and meet staff face to face. There is no better time to get help with a state cultivator license.”

CDFA will provide an overview of the state’s cannabis cultivation licensing program and review the requirements for a cannabis farming license. CDFW will cover Lake and Streambed Alteration agreements and how to limit environmental impacts. SWRCB will review policy and permitting, and other important information. Computers will be available for applicants to apply for water permits. Other agencies may include CAL FIRE, the Department of Pesticide Regulation, the Franchise Tax Board among city and county representatives.

These free workshops are ideal for new and existing cannabis cultivators, and those interested in the topic. Attendees will have time to talk with state agency staff about individual projects after the presentations.

The free workshops are scheduled on the following dates and times.

Thursday, May 9
10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (presentations begin at 10:30 a.m.)
Arts and Community Building
10400 Heather Avenue
California City

Tuesday, May 14
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (presentations begin at 10:30 a.m.)
Mateel Community Center
59 Rusk Lane
Redway

Thursday, May 16
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (presentations begin at 10:30 a.m.)
County Library Community Room
995 Palm Street
San Luis Obispo

Tuesday, June 25
10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (presentations begin at 10:30 a.m.)
Natural Resources Building – First floor auditorium
1416 Ninth Street
Sacramento

All state agencies encourage cannabis cultivators to obtain all necessary state licenses and county permits, as well as implement best management practices to reduce environmental impacts. Following these recommendations can help cultivators avoid common pitfalls that may lead to enforcement actions.

To learn more about CDFW’s role in cannabis cultivation, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/cannabis or email AskCannabis@wildlife.ca.gov.

To report environmental crimes or a black market grow, please call the CalTIP hotline at (888) 334-2258 or text “CALTIP” followed by a space and the desired message, to 847411 (tip411).

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Woman Sentenced For Environmental Crimes in Lake County

Dead Birds and Banned Pesticide Found At Unlicensed Marijuana Grow

On March 11, Elizabeth Garcia, 33, of Fairfield was sentenced to three misdemeanor violations relating to the use of a banned pesticide at a Lower Lake black market marijuana grow.

Garcia was placed on three years probation, ordered to pay fines and fees of $22,700 and complete 240 hours of community service. In addition, she has prohibitions related to cannabis possession and cultivation.Lake County woman

The violations stem from a Sept. 2018 investigation by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) for black market sales and environmental crimes. The illegal grow contained 850 plants and was not permitted by the county or licensed by the state.

“The conviction of this case was a result of a team effort with CDFW scientists and enforcement, SWRCB, U.C. Davis Veterinary Medicine and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation,” said Susan J. Krones, Lake County District Attorney. “The abundance of natural resources in our county should be respected and treated with care. This conviction demonstrates that noncompliance with state environmental laws will not be tolerated.”

While serving a search warrant, wildlife officers observed the presence of a suspected illegal substance and a dead bird, identified as a hermit thrush, found within the cultivation site and another bird carcass nearby.  Plant samples and the deceased bird were tested and both returned positive for carbofuran.

“Black market marijuana operations can be very harmful to the environment,” said David Bess, Deputy Director and Chief of the CDFW Law Enforcement Division. “Grows of this nature are a public safety threat and keep the legal cannabis market from reaching its full potential.”

Carbofuran has been banned in the United States since 2009. A single aspirin-sized tablet of carbofuran is toxic enough to kill 20,000 small birds and just a teaspoon can kill a 300-lb. black bear.

CDFW encourages cannabis operators to obtain state licenses and local authorization for commercial cultivation. Learn more at wildlife.ca.gov/cannabis.

CDFW would like to remind the public to report environmental crimes such as water pollution, illegal water diversions and poaching to the CalTIP hotline by calling (888) 334-2258 or by texting “CALTIP” followed by a space and the desired message, to 847411 (tip411).

Media Contact:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 207-7891

 

Wildlife Officers Seize Firearms and More at Black Market Marijuana Operation in Hayfork

Last month, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), assisted by the Trinity County Sheriff’s Department, served a search warrant at a private parcel in the Hayfork area of Trinity County. 

The warrant was based on evidence of black market marijuana sales, environmental crimes and other criminal activity. CDFW also verified that the private property and parties involved were not licensed by the state to commercially grow and/or produce cannabis products.

Officers seized five firearms, 455 pounds of processed marijuana, 1,540 grams of Butane Honey Oil (BHO) and equipment for a BHO lab. Along with this, wildlife officers found evidence of black market marijuana being shipped across state lines.

“There is no doubt that black market marijuana operations prevent California’s legal cannabis market from thriving and encourage other criminal behavior,” said David Bess, Deputy Director and Chief of the CDFW Law Enforcement Division. “Shutting down an operation of this nature is one of the many tasks that wildlife officers encounter when protecting California’s natural resources.”

The Trinity County District Attorney’s office is reviewing five felony charges against the two suspects.

CDFW reminds cannabis cultivators to obtain state licenses and local authorization for commercial cultivation. Following these recommended actions can help cultivators avoid common pitfalls that may lead to enforcement actions. Learn more at wildlife.ca.gov/cannabis.

CDFW would like to remind the public to report environmental crimes such as water pollution, water diversions and poaching to the CalTIP hotline by calling (888) 334-2258 or by texting “CALTIP” followed by a space and whatever the desired message, to 847411 (tip411).

Media Contact: Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 207-7891

 

Free Cannabis Permitting Workshops Slated for Lake and Mendocino Counties

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) are presenting at two free cannabis permitting workshops in March 2019.

The workshops, being held in Clearlake and Laytonville, are ideal for cannabis cultivators, consultants and anyone interested in the topic.

CDFA will provide an overview of the state’s cannabis cultivation licensing program and review the requirements for a cannabis farming license. CDFW will cover notifications in the permitting process, Lake and Streambed Alteration agreements and how to limit environmental impacts. SWRCB will review policy and permitting, and other important information. Computers will be available for applicants to apply for permits.

Attendees will have time to talk with state agency staff about individual projects after the presentations.

The free workshops are slated for the following dates and times. In the coming months, additional workshops will be scheduled throughout the state.

Wed., March 13
3 to 7 p.m. (presentations begin at 3:30 p.m.)
Clearlake City Hall – the Council Chambers
14050 Olympic Drive
Clearlake

Tues., March 26
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (presentations begin at 10:30 a.m.)
Harwood Hall
44400 Willis Avenue
Laytonville

CDFW encourages cannabis cultivators to obtain all necessary state licenses and county permits, as well as implement best management practices to reduce environmental impacts. Following these recommended actions can help cultivators avoid common pitfalls that may lead to enforcement actions.

To learn more about CDFW’s role in cannabis cultivation, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/cannabis or email AskCannabis@wildlife.ca.gov.

To report environmental crimes or a black market grow, please call the CalTIP hotline at (888) 334-2258 or text “CALTIP” followed by a space and whatever the desired message, to 847411 (tip411).

Contacts:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 207-7891
Dyana McPherson, State Water Resources Control Board, (916) 341-5632
Rebecca Forée, CDFA CalCannabis, (916) 654-0462
Kelly Hickcox, Central Valley Water Board, (530) 224-3291

CDFW Conducts Watershed Study in Humboldt County

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is investigating the potential environmental impacts of water diversions associated with cannabis cultivation in three streams in the upper Mattole River watershed in Humboldt County.

The study is comparing hydrological and biological parameters such as stream flow, water temperature, dissolved oxygen levels, aquatic insect community composition, and fish movement in streams with and without cannabis cultivation.

This pilot research project could support efforts to establish sustainable levels of cannabis cultivation in sensitive watersheds on the North Coast and lead to the initiation of similar studies throughout the state. 

The study findings are expected to be published on the CDFW website in the fall of 2019

“Research is an important tool in understanding the impacts of cannabis cultivation on the environment,” said Joshua Grover, CDFW Cannabis Program Director. “CDFW supports the legalized cannabis market and works with cultivators to limit environmental impacts. Using a science-based approach will help our staff make informed management decisions on sustainable levels of cannabis cultivation.”

More details on the pilot study can be found in the January/February issue of Outdoor California with an article titled, “Cultivating Cooperation.” To read the article, please visit: www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Cannabis/News and click on the link. Additional details about the study can be found here: www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Cannabis#53534624-environment.

Cannabis cultivators with questions can email CDFW at AskCannabis@wildlife.ca.gov.

CDFW encourages cannabis cultivators to obtain all necessary state licenses and county permits, as well as implement best management practices to reduce environmental impacts. Following these recommended actions can help cultivators avoid common pitfalls that may lead to enforcement actions.

Media Contact:
Janice Mackey – 916-207-7891