Cannabis Lighting Regulations, Pt. 1
In order to effectively search for information necessary to complete the attached spreadsheet we first searched sites related to cannabis laws in the state of California for information on each of the cities in rows 3-7. Next, we searched the websites for each municipality for information on cannabis regulations. Furthermore, we searched for news articles for proposed laws for each of the areas. Finally, we searched through this database which details each California city's specific cannabis laws to find out if recreational marijuana cultivation has been legalized in that area. Below is additional information that supports our findings displayed by the spreadsheet.
RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA CULTIVATION
Different cities within Coachella Valley have various degrees of legality. The cities of Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs, Palm Desert and Cathedral City all allow both recreational cultivation at home and in a commercial setting. The cities of Indo and Indian Wells allow only recreational cultivation indoor at home and Indian Wells requires a permit for this. The city of La Quinta and Rancho Mirage also prohibit the commercial cultivation of recreational marijuana but allows it to be grown both indoor and outdoor at home. The city of Sacramento allows both the commercial cultivation and indoor home cultivation of recreational cannabis while the unincorporated county of Sacramento allows only home grows indoors. The city of Santa Rosa allows for both the home and commercial cultivation of recreational cannabis. The city of San Luis Obispo prohibits commercial growth but permits indoor home cultivation, while the unincorporated city allows for both.
PROPOSED CANNABIS LAWS
San Louis Obispo was the only municipality in our assigned rows currently proposing two new ordinances regarding grow lights. The first ordinance would require the all cannabis cultivation permit holders use energy-efficient lighting. The ordinance would also prohibit the use of grow lights between 9pm and 6am unless it can be shown that the facility does not emit light or create glare. The second ordinance would require that indoor cannabis cultivation meet current State energy regulations and in cases where no current regulations exist that all facilities use renewable energy sources for at least 50% of the facilities' energy use.
Sacramento was the only municipality in our list to have current regulations for lighting systems used for indoor cultivation of marijuana. The lighting systems are limited to 3,800 watts, must prevent light and glare from exiting the grow area, and must comply with both city fire and building codes. Individual grow lights are limited to 1,000 watts per bulb.
Please see the spreadsheet for additional information and a conclusion of our results.
Cannabis Lighting Regulations, Pt. 2
San Francisco, Trinity County, Sutter County, Yolo County and Mendocino are all municipalities in California that have approved the recreational use of marijuana. Details on whether each of these municipalities has approved or is still discussing regulations regarding lighting for cannabis production are provided in the attached spreadsheet. Information was gathered primarily from county regulation documents and media analysis. An overview of findings is provided below, by municipality.
San Francisco has legalized recreational marijuana use. The approved regulation on the lighting of cannabis cultivation enables LED lighting to be used for cultivation of personal and commercial recreational marijuana. Additional artificial lighting specifications are not available. The city's Public Utilities Commission has also partnered with Pacific Gas & Electric to finance up to $100,000 for cannabis growers using LED lighting; this loan is interest-free for up to 5 years.
Trinity County has legalized the recreational use of cannabis. According to the County website, the County's main lighting regulations include Mixed-Light Tier 1, where the use of artificial light is allowed at a rate of six watts per square foot or less; and Mixed-Light Tier 2, where artificial light is allowed above six and below or equal to twenty-five watts per square foot. Growers applying for licenses from the county must specify which type of lighting they will be using depending on their intent to grow the plant for personal or commercial undertakings.
Sutter County has approved the recreational use of marijuana as well as its cultivation for personal use. Commercial cultivation is only legal for medical marijuana. The county requires that artificial lighting systems for commercial cultivation of medical marijuana do not exceed 1,200 watts per fixture. Regulations regarding the commercial cultivation of recreational marijuana are being discussed and include potential modifications to the county’s cannabis ordinance including their artificial lighting requirements and the implementation of a tax measure on cultivation.
Both personal and medical cannabis use and possession is allowed in Yolo County. County ordinances on the use of artificial lighting for cannabis production include a limit of 25 watts per square foot of mixed light allowed for cultivation in cases of indoor cultivation. For outdoor cultivation, there is a maximum of 600 watts of artificial lighting per 100 square feet of growing area.
Cannabis dispensaries are not permitted in Mendocino County, however, cultivation of recreational marijuana is allowed. Growers are subject to a tiered licensing system, which is further dependent on zoning requirements that allow up to 10,000 square feet of cultivation area. Approved regulations stipulate that light assistance for outdoor cultivation must not exceed 35 watts per square foot of growing area.
San Francisco, Trinity County, Sutter County, Yolo County and Mendocino are all Californian municipalities allowing the recreational use of marijuana. San Francisco, Trinity County, Yolo County and Mendocino have all passed regulations regarding artificial lighting in the cultivation of cannabis, while Sutter County is in discussions of these regulations. Details are included in the attached spreadsheet.
Cannabis Lighting Regulations, Pt. 3
We have identified five California municipalities that have existing government regulations that affect how much lighting can be used when growing cannabis and we have provided detailed information on the attached spreadsheet. These municipalities are Lake County, Humboldt, Monterey, Sonoma, and Tehama.
Methodology and Summary of Findings
Utilizing several regulation databases for the area, we discovered that all five counties allow recreational and/or personal medical cannabis consumption as well as allowing cultivation in some counties. The regulations often limit where the cultivation can occur, often restricting proximity to schools or other areas that are not approved for cannabis cultivation. The lighting restrictions vary widely, with Lake County allowing only 1,200 watts for a 100 square foot area and Tehama County and Monterey also allowing 1,200 watts maximum for residential or detached buildings. Conversely, Humboldt allows up to 25 watts of supplemental lighting per square foot which when multiplied by 100 square feet would equal 2,500 watts allowed in the same 100 square foot imprint. Humboldt and Sonoma counties further restrict energy usage by limiting the electrical power to only renewable sources which growers can produce themselves, where they would otherwise have to purchase "carbon offsets" in order to make up for the energy usage that is not renewable.
While Lake County, Humboldt, Sonoma, Tehama, and Monterey all allow usage and/or cultivation of cannabis in their counties, they vary in the size of cultivation allowed as well as where the cultivation can occur. All five counties do, however, have some existing regulations passed that limit the amount of energy that can be used in their cannabis growing procedures. These regulations are generally based on the size of land on which the cultivation occurs.