Wildlife Officers Shut Down Two Illegal Cannabis Grows in Shasta County

On Feb. 11 and Jan. 30, wildlife officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) served search warrants in Lakehead and Anderson. The warrants were based on suspected environmental violations associated with illegal commercial cannabis cultivation. Support was provided by the U.S. Forest Service, Central Valley Regional Water Board, and Shasta County Environmental Health Division and Code Enforcement.

Shasta County does not allow outdoor commercial cannabis cultivation, however, there are a small number of permitted/licensed indoor cannabis grows in incorporated areas.  A records check confirmed neither site was in an area where commercial cultivation is allowed nor were any steps taken to secure a state license.

In Lakehead (Feb. 11), officers located series of sophisticated structures with wooden floors on raised cinder blocks, which contained a total of 4,302 cannabis plants and 24 lbs. of processed cannabis. CDFW scientists documented two illegal diversions, huge amounts of garbage near a waterway and evidence of a registered pesticide being applied to the plants, which is prohibited for use on cannabis and food products. Additionally, improperly stored diesel fuel may have impacted ground water and nearby tributaries.

In Anderson (Jan. 30), officers found 2,947 cannabis plants and 151 lbs. of processed cannabis in similar structures found at the Lakehead location. Officers also discovered several hundred gallons of illegally stored diesel fuel which had been discharging into the soil and had the potential to reach ground water and nearby tributaries. No dead or impaired wildlife were initially discovered but the site is being monitored for latent effects of the petroleum spill.

Both sites appear to be connected to each other.

“Illegal cannabis grows put compliant cannabis operators at a disadvantage and can be extremely harmful to the environment,” said David Bess, Deputy Director and Chief of the CDFW Law Enforcement Division. “Black market cultivation will not be tolerated in California and those engaging in this behavior should take notice.”

A total of four men and three women were detained and a formal complaint is being filed with the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office for illegal cultivation and other multiple violations of the Health and Safety and Fish and Game codes. Other county violations will be handled through their respective administrative processes.

You can learn more about CDFW’s role in commercial cannabis cultivation at wildlife.ca.gov/cannabis. CDFW encourages 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 information to “TIP411” (847411).

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

Free Online Commercial Cannabis Permitting Workshop Feb. 21

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) are hosting a free online commercial cannabis cultivation permitting workshop.

The free workshop is ideal for new and existing commercial cannabis cultivators. Those interested in attending can follow the link below and register. The online workshop is limited to 200 participants so early registration is recommended.

Workshop Details:
Friday, Feb. 21 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Registration link: www.wildlife.ca.gov/cannabis

CDFA will provide an overview of the state’s cannabis cultivation licensing program and review the requirements for cannabis farming. CDFW will cover Lake and Streambed Alteration agreements and how to limit environmental impacts. The State Water Board will review the cannabis policy, permitting process and other important information. Other regulatory agencies may participate as well.

Questions can be submitted at the end of the final presentation.

To learn more about CDFW’s cannabis program, visit wildlife.ca.gov/cannabis or email askcannabis@wildlife.ca.gov. To report environmental crimes, such as water diversions, pollution and poaching, call the CalTIP hotline at (888) 334-2258 or text information to “TIP411” (847411).

For information on the California Cannabis Track-and-Trace Metrc System, visit CDFA’s web page at calcannabis.cdfa.ca.gov, call (833) CALGROW or (833) 225-4769 or send an email to calcannabis@cdfa.ca.gov. To report suspected illegal cannabis cultivation or related complaints, call (833) WEED-TIP or (833) 933-3847.

To learn more about the State Water Board’s role in cannabis cultivation permitting, visit waterboards.ca.gov/cannabis. For permitting and compliance assistance, email dwq.cannabis@waterboards.ca.gov or call (916) 341-5580 (Cannabis Cultivation General Order), or email cannabisreg@waterboards.ca.gov or call (916) 319-9427 (cannabis cultivation water rights).

Media Contacts:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, janice.mackey@wildlife.ca.gov,
Rebecca Forée, CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division, rebecca.foree@cdfa.ca.gov
Edward Ortiz, State Water Board, edward.ortiz@waterboards.ca.gov

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Free Commercial Cannabis Permitting Workshops in Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity Counties

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) are hosting four free commercial cannabis permitting workshops in northern California.

The free workshops are ideal for new and existing cultivators and formatted to help cultivators navigate the state’s licensing process. Participants will be able to ask specific project questions, obtain permitting materials, learn about compliance and meet staff.

“We and our state partners are here to assist cultivators that are pursuing a state cultivator license and to explain regulatory compliance associated with commercial cannabis cultivation,” said Ryan Mathis, CDFW Environmental Program Manager for the Cannabis Environmental Compliance Program.

CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division will provide an overview of the state’s cannabis cultivation licensing program and review the requirements for cannabis farming. CDFW will cover Lake and Streambed Alteration agreements and how to limit environmental impacts.  The State Water Board will review its cannabis policy, the permitting process and other important information.

California’s cannabis regulations require commercial cultivators to obtain the necessary state licenses and local permits, as well as implement best management practices to reduce environmental impacts.

Workshops are scheduled on the following dates and times.

  • Jan. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.*
    Trinity County Fairgrounds
    6000 CA-3
    Hayfork
    *presentations start at 10:30 a.m.
  • Feb. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.*
    Harwood Hall
    44400 Willis Avenue
    Laytonville
    *presentations start at 10:30 a.m.
  • Feb. 12 will have two sessions: 9 a.m. to noon and 3 to 7 p.m.*
    River Lodge Conference Center
    1800 Riverwalk Drive
    Fortuna
    *presentations will start 30 minutes after the doors open for each session

To learn more about CDFW’s cannabis program, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/cannabis or email askcannabis@wildlife.ca.gov. To report environmental crimes, such as pollution, water diversions and poaching, please call the CalTIP hotline at (888) 334-2258 or text information to “TIP411” (847411).

For more information about becoming a licensed commercial cannabis farmer and for an overview of the California Cannabis Track-and-Trace Metrc System, please visit the CDFA CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division’s website at calcannabis.cdfa.ca.gov, call 1-833-CALGROW (1-833-225-4769) or send an email to calcannabis@cdfa.ca.gov. To report suspected illegal cannabis cultivation or related complaints, please call the CalCannabis toll-free hotline: 1-833-WEED-TIP (1-833-933-3847).

For assistance with the State Water Board’s role in cannabis cultivation permitting, please email dwq.cannabis@waterboards.ca.gov or call (916) 341-5580 (Cannabis Cultivation General Order); or email cannabisreg@waterboards.ca.gov or call (916) 319-9427 (cannabis cultivation water rights).

Contacts:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, janice.mackey@wildlife.ca.gov
Rebecca Forée, CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division, rebecca.foree@cdfa.ca.gov

Free Commercial Cannabis Permitting Workshop on Jan. 23 in El Dorado County

Who: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board), El Dorado County and other organizations.

What: A free cannabis permitting workshop for new and existing cannabis cultivators. CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division 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. The State Water Board will review its cannabis policy, the permitting process and other important information.

When: Thursday, Jan. 23 from 3 to 7 p.m.

Where: 330 Fair Lane, Placerville

Why: Cannabis permitting workshops are designed to help cultivators navigate the state’s permitting process. Participants will be able to ask specific project questions, obtain permitting materials and meet staff.

The State of California requires commercial cannabis cultivators to obtain the necessary state licenses and local permits, as well as implement best management practices to reduce environmental impacts.

To learn more about CDFW’s cannabis program, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/cannabis or email askcannabis@wildlife.ca.gov. To report environmental crimes, such as pollution, water diversions and poaching, please call the CalTIP hotline at (888) 334-2258 or text information to “TIP411” (847411).

For more information about becoming a licensed commercial cannabis farmer and for an overview of the California Cannabis Track-and-Trace Metrc System, please visit CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing’s website at calcannabis.cdfa.ca.gov, please call 1-833-CALGROW (1-833-225-4769) or send an email to calcannabis@cdfa.ca.gov. To report suspected illegal cannabis cultivation or related complaints, please call the CalCannabis toll-free hotline: 1-833-WEED-TIP (1-833-933-3847).

For assistance with the State Water Board’s role in cannabis cultivation permitting, please email dwq.cannabis@waterboards.ca.gov or call (916) 341-5580 (Cannabis Cultivation General Order); or email cannabisreg@waterboards.ca.gov or call (916) 319-9427 (cannabis cultivation water rights).

Contacts:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, janice.mackey@wildlife.ca.gov
Rebecca Forée, CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division, rebecca.foree@cdfa.ca.gov

CDFW and State Cannabis Permitting Partners to Speak at the Emerald Cup in Sonoma County

Roundtable talks, suggestion box and more at annual cannabis event

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division and the State Water Resources Control Board will be at the Emerald Cup in Sonoma County on Dec. 14 and 15. All three agencies will be participating in two roundtable discussions and hosting an information table with cannabis-permitting materials, wildlife-friendly literature and a suggestion box.

“We are thrilled to be participating in this event,” said Jennifer Nguyen, CDFW’s Acting Cannabis Program Director. “Our cannabis permitting team along with our sister state agencies will be speaking on two panels, connecting and listening to the cultivator community and sharing wildlife-friendly practices.”

Roundtable Topics and Times:

Saturday, Dec. 14 from 11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Regulator to Cultivator: Keeping an Open Dialogue
State agencies, cultivators and industry stakeholders all have an investment in today’s cannabis market. Keeping the lines of communication open during California’s historic transition to a regulated commercial cannabis market is crucial. While a regulated market offers many new and exciting opportunities for California’s cannabis industry, there are also many challenges to work through by engaging in conversations and receiving feedback from each other.

Saturday, Dec. 14 from 1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Environmentally Friendly Cannabis: What Industry Experts Have to Say
With the passage of Proposition 64, thousands of new cultivators are entering the regulated cannabis market. Many are unaware that seemingly harmless farming activities can have big impacts to the environment. Learn more about the state’s role in protecting California’s natural resources and how some traditional cultivators are raising the bar with their wildlife-friendly practices.

Please note, times are subject to change based on conference schedule adjustments.

Cannabis cultivators with questions can always email CDFW at AskCannabis@wildlife.ca.gov, visit wildlife.ca.gov/Cannabis to learn more about permitting or attend an upcoming permitting workshop being held throughout the state.

Learn more about Emerald Cup at: theemeraldcup.com.

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Media Contacts:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 207-7891
Rebecca Forée, CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division, rebecca.foree@cdfa.ca.gov