Creating a cannabis cultivation ordinance in Nevada County is underway and there are still some critical stages where your participation is a MUST.

Tuesday, March 6 is an important meeting. The BOS will be giving additional direction to staff on the ordinance and there will be an extended public comment period. Below are all the facts you need to know.

That’s why what kind of message we deliver on Tuesday March 6th is so important to what transpires in the next six weeks. The message has to provide solutions and educate elected officials on how the industry should operate.


The Facts

Date: Tuesday, March 6


Location: Board of Supervisors Chambers, 950 Maidu Ave Nevada City

WhatCounty staff is requesting additional discussion on the long term cannabis cultivation regulations decision point questions and direct County Counsel to continue drafting a revised ordinance. There will be extra time in this session for public input.

Important documents: Meeting Agenda with county staff report can be found HERE agenda packet.

Preparing for the Meeting:

  1. Wear your Green ‘Farmer’ T- Shirt or any other green shirt. To show our strength in numbers, we will be a sea of green.

At the Meeting:

  1. We do not want to discourage anyone from speaking, but we believe we can have a powerful impact if we have fewer speakers with concise messaging versus multiple speakers saying the same thing.
  2. Speakers have already been identified to cover the topics listed below.  Each of these speakers will address the topic and then state that their views are supported by all those who take a stand. At this point, please stand in unison to show your support.
  3. If you do speak and someone has already made a specific point, we ask that the same comment is not repeated unless there is a different spin to it.
  4. Always provide a solution to the challenge that you are addressing.
  5. As always, be succinct, respectful and remember to follow the CODE OF CONDUCT.


With that in mind here are a few points we want to deliver to the Board of Supervisors:


  • Allow for commercial growing in Res Ag Rural zoning:
    • The purpose of res agricultural zoning is to protect farmland from incompatible uses that would adversely affect the long-term economic viability of the area within the region. Cannabis cultivations is an agricultural activity that could help protect ag land.
    • Agricultural zoning maintains the vitality of the agricultural sector by retaining a critical mass of agricultural land. In fact, effective agricultural zoning ordinances protect prime agricultural soils. In the case of cannabis, organic and regenerative cannabis cultivation practices can help keep agricultural soils alive and usable for other crops.
    • Residential agriculture zone applies to properties that are suitable for very low-density residential use and limited agricultural activities and contribute to maintaining the county’s rural and small-town character and small-scale agricultural activities. Res Ag land use designation also allows for buffer areas between exclusive agriculture areas and higher density residential areas.
    • Historically, principally permitted uses in Res Ag land include farming, dairying, grazing, breeding of cattle, horses, or sheep, raising or keeping of poultry, fowl, rabbits, or goats or similar animals. Res Ag land has also included crop, vine or truck farm, greenhouses constructed on nonpermanent foundations (e.g., perimeter foundations), horticulture, and permits accessory structures such as barns, pens, coops, stables, windmills, Greenhouses and other nursery structures; Water storage tanks, reservoirs, and water distribution lines.
  • Use square footage to calculate canopy versus plant count.
    • Maintain consistency with state regulations which define canopy based on the square footage of the designated boundaries of growing area. “Canopy shall be calculated in square feet and measured using clearly identifiable boundaries of all area(s) that will contain mature plants at any point in time, including all of the space(s) within the boundaries”
    • Square footage is more realistic as it takes into account the various growing styles.
    • Using a different measuring vehicle for licensing gardens can create confusion for farmers as they strive to stay compliant with both local and state regulations.
  • Commercial Cultivation allowances to be consistent with CAG recommendations
    • Allow Specialty Cottage and Specialty and Small commercial cultivation in areas zoned AG, AE, FR, TPZ and RA- Rural  under the following conditions
    • For outdoor cultivation and mixed -light:
      • Require a minimum parcel size of 3 acres for Specialty Cottage
      • Require a minimum parcel size of 5 acres for Specialty and Small Outdoor.
      • Require a minimum parcel size of 10 acres for Small outdoor
    • For indoor cultivation, require a minimum parcel size of 2 acres for Specialty Cottage, Specialty and Small Indoor