All posts by mackeyjanice

CDFW and State Water Boards to Present at Four Cannabis Permitting Workshops in Northern California

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) are extending outreach to the cannabis cultivating community with presentations at four permitting workshops in northern California.

The presentations are ideally suited for cannabis cultivators, consultants and anyone interested in the topic.

CDFW will address important areas such as how to begin the notification process, Lake and Streambed Alteration agreements, and limiting environmental impacts.

SWRCB will cover policy and permitting, and other important information. Computers will be available for applicants to apply for water rights and water quality permits.

Workshop attendees will have time to talk with agency staff about individual projects. In the coming months, more workshops will be announced throughout the state.

CDFW and SWRCB will present at the following venues:

Wednesday, Jan. 30
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (presentation at 10:30 a.m.)
Sonoma Lab Works
1201 Corporate Center Parkway
Santa Rosa
For more information, please visit:

Wednesday, Feb. 6
5 to 7 p.m. (presentation at 5:30 p.m.)
The Foothills Event Center
400 Idaho Maryland Road
Grass Valley
For more information, please visit:

Tuesday, Feb. 26
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (presentation at 10:30 a.m.) – Free
North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board
5550 Skyline Blvd. Suite A
Santa Rosa

Thursday, Feb. 28
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (presentation at 10:30 a.m.) – Free
Trinity County Fairgrounds
6000 CA-3

In addition, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will be at the Feb. 26 and 28 workshops. CDFA will provide an overview of the state’s cannabis cultivation licensing program and review the primary requirements for a cannabis farming license. Staff will also be available to answer questions.

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 or email

To learn more about SWRCB, please visit:

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

CDFW and Partners Clean-Up Black Market Marijuana Grow in Orange County

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and Orange County Parks (OC Parks) completed a clean-up of a black market marijuana grow at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.

The team clean-up effort was conducted in two phases (Dec. and Jan.) and removed approximately 3,120 pounds of trash, 1,500 feet of plastic irrigation piping, 24 ounces of pesticides as well as other forms of garbage that can be detrimental to the environment.

For the clean-up, OC Parks worked with a specialized hazmat contractor, Clean Harbors, to ensure the pesticide was removed and disposed of correctly. Through testing, the pesticide was confirmed to be carbofuran, a highly toxic and banned substance. Just a teaspoon can kill a 300-pound black bear.

“Protecting California’s natural resources takes commitment from federal, state, county and city entities. I commend all those that were involved in this effort to identify the black market grow, eradicate it and clean it up,” said David Bess, Deputy Director and Chief of the CDFW Law Enforcement Division. “Working together, we can protect the environment and help the permitted cannabis market thrive.”

During routine flights over Orange County with the National Guard’s Counter Drug Unit, CDFW spotted a black market marijuana grow. On Sept. 27, CDFW and Newport Beach Police Department conducted an eradication mission at the site. Attempts to apprehend the suspects were unsuccessful.

Officers eradicated 500 plants and confiscated 75 pounds of processed marijuana. The grow, when in full production, contained almost 1,500 plants. During the eradication, CDFW documented numerous environmental violations including streambed alterations, haphazard pesticides left on the property, trash within 150 feet of a waterway and a poached deer.

Between 2013 and 2018, CDFW has removed more than 2.4 million feet of irrigation pipe, 50 tons of fertilizer and 65 gallons of chemicals (many illegal in the U.S.) on black market grows. CDFW has also removed 709 dams and water diversions resulting in restoration of 800 million gallons of water back into local watersheds.

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