Yolo supervisors are torn on how the county should deal with marijuana in the wake of the legalization of recreational use across the state.
While Supervisor Jim Provenza asserted that Yolo County should not become the “pot capital” of the state, Supervisor Don Saylor has taken a more friendly approach to the new industry.
“With the passage of the ballot proposition, the cultivation of recreational marijuana will be legal as of January 1, 2018,” said Provenza. “My concern is we have prohibited the cultivation of medical marijuana in this ordinance with the exception of those we’re grandfathering in ... if we do nothing we will be prohibiting medical marijuana and have no prohibition against recreational marijuana.”
The battle lines are heating up between the marijuana marketplace and the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Last Wednesday, the DEA slipped an update in the Federal Register that established a new drug code for marijuana extracts. The move panicked the industry, which is already nervous with the new administration coming in. Millions are at stake for several publicly traded companies that have invested years in marketing products based on the extract called cannabidiol, or CBD.
Federal, state, local laws collide over medical marijuana cultivation in Winters
When Winters farmer Ravi Tumber got a green light from Yolo County Agriculture Commissioner John Young personally to grow medical cannabis rather than tomatoes in the hydroponic structures on his property just off Highway 128 in the hills just west of town, he thought he was good to go. He was told by county staff that he’d followed all the rules and gotten all the necessary permits, and so he proceeded to lease a greenhouse and an outdoor plot to a Sacramento grower connected to a legal medical marijuana cooperative, who also had the necessary legal paperwork in place.
Are you interested in Yolo County’s regulations related to Cannabis cultivation? Check out these Frequently Asked Questions for a summary.
In response to California’s Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), Yolo County adopted an interim ordinance in March 2016 for cultivation of medical cannabis. The interim ordinance allows personal cultivation up to 100 square feet, prohibits grows within 1,000 feet of a youth-oriented facility or within 75 feet of an occupied residence, and requires permits from Yolo County and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board Central Valley Region.
In November 2016 the Board adopted a fee structure to cover costs associated with regulating medical cannabis cultivation in Yolo County.
On December 14, the Drug Enforcement Administration added a new code for marijuana extracts and made it clear that such extracts, including CBD oil, are illegal.
Although this does not represent a change in federal law, many CBD producers have operated under the assumption that cannabis-based products with less than the 0.3 THC percentage that's allowed in hemp would be legal. But that's not the case, according to this DEA announcement.
Here's the DEA's new definition of marijuana extract that was posted in the Federal Register: "an extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant."