CA: State Water Officials In Ukiah To Discuss Responsible Marijuana Growing

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State water officials will be in Ukiah today to explain their role in ensuring that marijuana is grown in an environmentally safe manner under the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.

According to the State Water Resources Control Board, officials are developing a “regulatory program to protect California waters from harmful activities related to cannabis cultivation. The program will prohibit waste discharges from agricultural practices, land clearing and grading activities in rural areas and forests.”

Along with staff from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Department of Food and Agriculture, water officials will discuss their efforts to “develop and adopt interim principles and guidelines to ensure that water diversion and discharge associated with commercial cannabis cultivation do not affect the instream flows needed for fish spawning, migration, and rearing, and the flows needed to maintain natural flow variability.”

Activities of interest related to marijuana grows include:

• Illegal or harmful diversions of water

• Poorly constructed or maintained roads and the excavation or development of cultivation areas, which are a major source of sediment pollution from soil erosion.

• Excavation of a wetland area or the removal of vegetation from a riparian corridor, since tree canopy provides crucial shading to maintain stream and river temperatures.

• Potting soil and mulch, amendments, fertilizers, and pesticides stored improperly or improperly applied, which leads to the pollution of local waterways.

• Leaving behind of household trash and human waste at large-scale growing sites, which contain hazardous waste and other contaminants.

• Clear-cutting of areas to create open space for growing results in deforestation and increased erosion due to loss of vegetative cover.

The program also includes state officials issuing permits to “cover medical marijuana (Proposition 215) grown on private land. Cannabis cultivation on public lands is illegal and may be subject to criminal prosecution.” Such a permit “does not approve or endorse cannabis cultivation.”

The meeting in Ukiah begins today (Aug. 31) at 4 p.m. at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center at 200 S. School St. There will be time for attendees to ask questions of all of the agencies involved.

The next meeting will be held Thursday, Sept. 1, in Eureka, then Wednesday, Sept. 7, in Weed.

Last week, research partners New Frontier and Arcview Market Research released a “2016 California Legal Cannabis Market State Profile,” which reportedly finds that the market for adult use of cannabis will nearly triple by 2020 if recreational use of the drug is legalized in California this November: from $2.8 billion in 2016 to an estimated $6.5 billion by 2020.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: State Water Officials In Ukiah To Discuss Responsible Marijuana Growing
Author: Staff
Contact: The Ukiah Daily Journal
Photo Credit: Bigstock
Website: The Ukiah Daily Journal