I posted ideas back in November 2016 speculating on how Butte County would regulate recreational marijuana growing and I would like to update you all on what Butte County came up with since then to regulate your “rights.” The code section regulating recreational marijuana growing for Butte County is found in Butte County Code, Chapter 34c. The Butte County recreational marijuana growing ordinance was written to comply with state law found in the Health and Safety Code, however, because of the leeway the H&S Code gives to local governments to regulate growing outdoors, Butte County is allowed to made it very difficult to grow outdoors in compliance with the law. For all but those who own 5 acres or more, outdoor grows are prohibited.
For properties less than 5 acres, the only way to grow in a place other than the person’s primary residence (indoors), is to have a detached “accessory structure” on the residential property (also defined in this code as being indoors). That sounds easy enough, however, the detached structure must comply with building codes, it must comply with setback requirements (15 feet from your fence or property line and 75 feet from the nearest residential building), it must contain an exhaust system that filters the odor of marijuana from the air, it must prevent access from others (be locked), it must comply with sewage requirements, electrical regulations, and water regulations. In other words, your accessory structure needs to be up to code. This is a non-exhaustive list, and the entire statute can be found here. And as a reminder, a person may only grow up to 6 plants, but can keep the entire harvest so long as it stays in the house/ property (you’re only allowed to have up to an ounce outside of your property in your possession).
In summary, unless you own 5 or more acres, growing recreational marijuana outdoors in Butte County is prohibited. You may still grow indoors, including in a detached structure like a greenhouse that complies with the myriad regulations found in Chapter 34c, however, there are regulations that must be complied with for growing inside the home as well. Non-compliance can result in a $500.00 a day fine after notice is given to the resident to “abate the nuisance.”
This article does not cover every regulation found in Chapter 34c, it is intended to be a brief, non-exhaustive look at the law. Please read the law in its entirety before attempting to grow marijuana. THERE ARE REGULATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN LEFT OUT FOR THE SAKE OF BREVITY.
* The information in this article may have changed since it was written. What is contained in this article is not the full law – there are many other regulations that a person must comply with in addition to the above. This should not be relied on for legal decisions or compliance with the law. Research the current state of the law to make sure you are in compliance, or call us at (530) 809-1752 if you have questions.