Another piece of marijuana-related legislation made its way to Gov. Jerry Browns desk on Wednesday, and this time its about the small farms.
Written by state Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) to address issues relevant to the North Coast cannabis scene, the Cottage Cannabis Farmer Bill, or AB 2516, seeks to make the licensing process for small commercial marijuana farms less burdensome and more affordable than their larger counterparts.
We want to ensure that small medical cannabis growers on the North Coast can continue to do business as this industry moves forward, he said in a statement. It is not fair to require the small farmers to adhere to the same standards as larger operations. This allows the California Department of Food and Agriculture to develop regulations unique to small farmer practices.
The bill creates a new type of license specifically for these cottage cannabis farmers under the states Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, which created a statewide licensing system for all aspects of the commercial medical marijuana industry. Prospective business owners must pass through a gauntlet of regulatory steps in order to even be considered for a license, such as obtaining permission from their local governments and meeting water quality standards.
The new license applies to farmers with less than 2,500 square feet of outdoor cultivation and less than 500 square feet of indoor cultivation.